Tag Archives: society

“Wit Yo Nappy-Headed Self”

This is not my son…lol

So, I’m having a conlict with my husband. Our oldest son has my hair texture. What does that mean? It means that when he gets a hair cut the hair starts to grow back beaded up. My husband, who has hair that lays flat and has a loose curl pattern, is like “Ugh! It [our son’s hair] doesn’t lay down when I brush it” Stating, “You know yo’ hair is nappy when you go to the store and say give me the hardest brush you got.” LOL. Of course, we had a good laugh at that one. So then, we started talking about his childhood and the stigma of being “nappy-headed.” You see, the nappy-head little boy was the bad boy. He was the one who couldn’t sit still, was always acting up in class. “Oh, you talking about James, that little nappy-headed boy down the street.”

When, my husband sees my son’s hair start to bead up, it makes him want to go get the hair clippers and shave it off. The conflict is that I don’t want his head bald. When my husband gives him a mohawk, he cuts the sides practically bald. I’m like, “Bay, why do you have our son looking like Mr. T?” His reply,  “so that the hair won’t bead up as fast” He keeps going back to the stigmas of his childhood and he doesn’t want our son to be “that kid.” “Little boys, black men need to be clean cut.” Or, at least, that’s what society has told us in order to be something in life.

This is very aggravating. Though, I know that he is not alone in these sentiments. Growing up if you were arguing with another little girl you could usually win the battle by ending off, “wit yo nappy-headed self.” We’re not children anymore, but these deep-rooted sentiments have carried over into adulthood. To this day, when a little Black baby is born everyone is waiting to see if the hair is going to “turn.” Mothers are still smothering their baby’s hair in mineral oil hoping prevent the inevitable.

I’m thankful that my husband and I can laugh about this. It does not hurt any more to think that there is a part of me that he would prefer different (or, at least, tamed). These sentiments are just a part of our culture and history that comes with the territory. I will not stand in the way of my husband training our son to be a man. I will however, give our son the balance of loving self that a mother gives. I believe that as more of us embrace our natural hair and define beauty on our on terms, those old stigmas will not be an issue anymore.

Share your thoughts…whatever they may be…

Funny or Offensive? Sh*t White Girls Say:[Commentary +Video]

Well, if you have not seen “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls,” the video that has blown up on Youtube (with I think 4 million views!), then you must not have internet. (View the video below by the talented vlogger, Chescaleigh.) My question to you is, if you are a Black person, did you relate? When you encounter these types of comments, do laugh them off or get offended? If you are a White person, have you ever said or thought any of these things? Did you find the video funny or offensive? Here’s my take.

First off, comedians generally can say whatever they want to say (unless the comments are degrading someone’s physical or mental impairment or used to inflict harm, then that’s not cool). What comedy does is take an otherwise tense situation, like race relations, and lighten it up a bit. Have you ever had one of those, “Oh, no she didn’t just say that” moments? I’ve had plenty of those moments having gone to an interracial high school to a predominately White college to working at a job where out of 1000 employees you can count the number of Blacks on one hand in management. So, yea, I could definitely relate to most of those comments, and I was cracking up laughing at this video. I’ve even heard this one, “He’s cute, for a Black guy, don’t you think?.”  And, you think to yourself, “Wait a minute…is that a compliment? My daddy is a black guy. lol” Oh, and don’t get me started on the hair comments. To be honest, when you work and go to shcool in a mixed race environment, these comments are inevitable. Oftentimes, I find that some White people are looking for something to relate to you on and all they can think of is the external or what they see in the media. Most folks don’t mean any harm.

I tread lightly as I write this, but I think Black and White folks alike can be too sensitive when it comes to the “R” word. Not every little, seemingly insensitive comment is racism. Yes, racism is still real. If you don’t think so, just read some of the Youtube comments from the video. And of course, there is institutional racism which goes beyond insensitive comments to denial of loans, housing, lack of promotion on the job, to negative portrayal in the media, etc. Aside from all the heavy stuff that ills our nation, I think comedy can be used as a tool to help heal racism. We could use some more humor to help us see things in a different light.

So, the next time a white woman asks you, “is this real?” or “can I touch it?” Just laugh it off and move on. If you are a White person and you feel the need to begin a sentence with, “not to sound racist, but…” maybe think twice before finishing that sentence. As our buddy, Rodney King infamously quoted, “Can’t we all just get along?” (Man, he should be gettting royalties or something off that statement…lol) Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.