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Black Women Teach Little Black Girls to Comb Their Hair and Be Ladies

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My son and I are members of the Y, we go about 2–3 times a week if we can. Before I started taking classes, I would take him and waited until he was finished with what he was doing. He has been a member for most of his life on his dads’ membership, this past year I was added for a family membership as a scholarship for all of us. I volunteered at my sons’ school for practically the entire four years he was there. I knew the students and the students knew me and if was fun, I had a lot of fun volunteering at my son’s school working with the kids.

I am a people watcher; it’s so much fun to watch people when they are just walking by or just standing around. I did a lot of people watching when I was waiting for my son to finish his workouts in the kid’s fitness center or practicing with one of the teams he was playing on that season. I would watch the harried moms bringing in their kids after work, I am so glad I never had to go through that. It is hard being a working mom and trying to keep the home life together but for some reasons some mothers have taken a short cut that has “to me” caused more damage to our young African-American girls than the help it has given to their mothers. What am I talking about, I am talking about the braiding of little Black girls hair so much and so extremely tight that little Black girls are loosing their hairline before they even enter junior high school. The running joke in the African-American community used to be when a White woman would have a child by a Black man she would have this little girl with hair that is not like hers. It’s the running joke on the t.v. show “The Game” the senior quarterback on the football team is African-American and his wife is White, the joke is that she does not know how to do their daughters hair. It’s not all the way ‘Nappy” but it has enough kinks that when the mom did try to comb it there was a battle between she and her daughter. She would ask her “African-American” friends to comb her daughters in exchange for favors. Yes we all laughed “hahahaha” but for a large growing number of African-American women the jokes on them because they are the ones who do not know how to either do their own daughters hair or just simply refuse to do it.

Where did the hairline of so many little Black girls go, right out the door, right along with their mothers’ who get weaves or braids that are too heavy and or too tight. I am horrified at the number of little girls I see walking around as if no one has ever put a comb to their heads. When I was growing up, every week my mom would wash me and my two sisters’ hair, she would press their hair and mine would go into ponytails. After she was finished doing our hair, it was time for the hair scarf to keep it in place for the week, I have a question? What happened to this ritual which is also a bonding moment just like for fathers when they take their sons to the barber shop. I am not trying to hear mothers say they do not have enough time in the day, my mom worked two jobs, one from midnight to 7:30 a.m. Then she would come home, get us ready for school, take a couple of hours for a nap, then off to her second job as a lunch lady. I am not trying to hear that excuse, why Black women, why have you forsaken your daughter’s hair for convenience.

Actually it is more than just their hair that I have issues with, it is the also the way young Black girls carry themselves now. I have seen too much for me to keep quiet and I do not care who thinks I am wrong or want to tell me how can I judge when I don’t know a persons situation. I can judge just like everyone else who sees these young girls in the street and shake their head. When I was a little girl you hardly ever saw a little girl whose hair was not combed when you went to school, if you did it was because the mom had issues, drugs or whatever. You never saw half the little Black girls in a school with their hair looking raggedy, my mother would not allow me to do my own hair until I was thirteen years old and I am so glad for that. It saved my hair it really did, because I was not playing in it and messing it up like a lot of little girls like to do I still have my hairline and my hair is a nice length. I have what Black folks like to call “Good Hair” for me and my family it is the grade of hair that I have which is fine. My oldest sister had hair that could hold a hairstyle for days whereas mine would fall before I left the shop. I didn’t start going to the beauty shop until I got a job to pay for it myself other than that when I was in high school I rocked a curl because it was easy. I hate doing my hair now and will get a weave when I can afford it and it is always tight. As I am writing this, I find I am at a loss for words because a part of me is still trying to be tactful. Black Women who have little girls, stop being lazy and do you daughters hair and show them how to be properly dressed, carry themselves with dignity like young ladies and get their hair done like young ladies should.

I am sick of seeing litle Black girls with “Nappy” braids on their head that needed to have been taken down a month before. I am tired of seeing little Black girls with their hair all over their head like they did not even try to put a comb through it, Black mothers, what are you doing? Why aren’t you teaching your little girls how to take care of themselves? One of the biggest things I see going on now is little Black girls looking like boys, and I mean straight up wearing boys gym clothes, basketball shoes and walking like boys, the whole nine. And the braids, they are wearing the braids as if any other style would not do since they are playing basketball, as if that means you cannot look like a girl. I understand they are playing basketball but these girls need to know that they do not have to look like a dude to play like a dude. No they are not Gay, not every little Black girl that comes through that door at Y is Gay so I am not trying to hear that one. On my son’s basketball team this past month I noticed the little Black girls on his team and the other teams they played against, all of the little Black girls were carrying themslves like they were boys. There was nothing feminine about them at all, these kids were no more than ten or twelve. The little White girls played just as hard as the little Black girls but they were still feminine, why the difference? Why are Black mothers allowing their daughters to loose that part of themselves, why? is it because they play sports? I played every sport I could and stayed all girl. I did my hair, I had to wear lipstick because I have the worst chapped lips in the world. My clothes were impeccable because that is what you are supposed do, you always make yourself presentable when you wake up in the morning. My clothes were always ironed each morning, my hair was done and my make-up was tight.

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