CNN Talks Black Hair

One of my loyal readers, Pru sent me this link to an article that CNN ran yesterday. The article is parts of CNN's "Being Black in America" series. Basically, it exposes some of the issues black women (and men) face and how something so simple as a hairstyle can create sometimes false presumptions. I must say many of the points in the article were very valid and I am sure we have all experienced some of these situations.

Here's an excerpt:

"It's not about hair per se, it's about what hair means, particularly for
black women in terms of racial identity, identity based on gender and ideas
about power," she said. "On one level, hair matters because race matters in our
society. For black people, our hair has been infused with these racial

Banks points to the ideas, which continue to linger, that if a black woman straightens her hair she is "selling out the race" and/or "embracing the white standard of beauty" while women who wear their hair in natural styles are "blacker than thou."

"When we think about that, there is no other racial or ethnic group in which those ideas come to bear on someone's politics," said Banks, who gathered data for her book by traveling to black hair salons across the country. "No one is saying that about white women, Asian women or Latino women."

Read More. And come back and tell me what you think.

4 Responses:

First off, let me say that I am lovin' this diva's hair in the photo!

Unfortunately, I do still believe that "black" hair is still seen as political. Especially when it comes to natural hair. I must admit that now that I am looking for employment (espcially being in the south) this is somewhat of a concern to me. It's not causing me to lose sleep or anything but it definitely is something that crosses my mind.

Do I believe those views are changing to the positive? Slowly but yes.

I too reside in the deep south. I feel like my natural hair makes people assume I am political/militant when in actuality it is my expression of self love. This is my second and final attempt @ going natural. I did it originally in 2003 but allowed the fear of not being able to get a job make me go back to a relaxer in 2005. I hated my decision and in April 2008 got my last relaxer and have done the BC and all. What ppl/society has to understand is we accept ourselves and choose not to conform to their standards of beauty. No one will ever appreciate us the way we appreciate ourselves and for that reason and many others, we should do what represents us as a person b/c we are beautiful just the way God made us. I love me, my kinks, coils, and curls.

I just would like to say that this article has to do with this discussion and I am passing it around.

Also R.I.P. MJ

when will these people realize that "latino" is NOT a race. it is an ethnicity and ethnicity =/= race. my goodness. a black person can be a latino! please stop the madness

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