Blackhairstory

Natural Hair & Care

Talking about hair: Just my thoughts February 5, 2009

Filed under: natural,natural hair care — R.D. @ 11:06 pm
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So I’m a graduate student at a PWI (Predominantly White Institution) and the second semester has started. In one of the first sessions for a class that I am taking, the professor asked us to introduce ourselves and talk about a cool new piece of media that has captured our attention or that we absolutely love. (It’s a class about designing and producing educational media) Although we all sat in a circle, he called on us randomly. The entire time, before he called on me, I argued with myself over whether I should discuss my favorite program (LOST) or this blog. Remember, this is a PWI. Discussing LOST would be much easier and many more people would be able to identify with me. I opted to talk about my blog and was pleasantly surprised by what happened next.

I told my new classmates that I had very recently created a blog devoted to African-American hair care, and the uniquely political aspects of our hair styles and choices. People seemed genuinely interested and some asked me to share the site, but this wasn’t the most surprising part. Right after I discussed the blog, my professor told me that he was recently reading a book about Madame Walker. He asked me, ‘Do you know Madame Walker?’. I smiled when he said this and nodded yes. He explained that it might seem weird to me that he is reading a book on Madame Walker but that as a native of Indiana, he ┬áhad become particularly interested in hair and hair products because of the variety that are available there and the fact that Madame Walker is from his hometown. I told him that it wasn’t weird and that blackhairstory was all of our history, which brings me back to the debate that I was having in my head before I told my classmates about the site.
I was nervous about sharing the site, nervous about appearing radical or afro-centric, nervous about being placed in a black box by my white classmates and professor, nervous that they might visit the site and be totally confused and nervous and that it would just be dismissed. But I believe what I told my professor. Black hairstories are part of American history. It made me so happy that my professor was reading a book about Madame C.J Walker. It also made me realize how we are often engaged in internal dialogues about ways to minimize or diminish our differences. Maybe if we ignored our internal dialogues and started speaking honestly to each other instead, we might be able realize the similarities in our differences and just be ourselves. White students have approached me and talked about how some of the issues on the site resonate with them because they have curly hair that they are compelled to straighten very frequently. What a first class!
 

Aunt Jemima’s Hair February 1, 2009

Filed under: celebrity,natural — R.D. @ 9:03 pm
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1889: Rutt and Underwood create an instant pancake mix. Aunt Jemima’s image comes out of the logo used on a vaudeville program featuring Black face minstrel comedians. “Aunt Jemima” is a song that they sing during the show.

1893-1980’s: Real women are chosen by various owners of the company to represent Aunt Jemima at restaurant openings, fairs, grocery stores and food shows. Ex-slave Nancy Green’s (left) likeness is used for the Aunt Jemima logo. Aunt Jemima’s head is adorned with a kerchief.

1968: During the civil rights movement, activists threatened to boycott the current owner of the company (Quaker Oats) if they did not change Aunt Jemima’s mammyish image and free her from the past. Her headscarf is replaced with a head band and she loses weight.

July 1989: Aunt Jemima trades in her head band for a perm and pearl earrings. Quaker Oats believes that Aunt Jemima’s make over shows “Aunt Jemima in a more contemporary light, while preserving the important attributes of warmth, quality, good tastes, heritage and reliability.”

 

You need to try this: Dredlock Victory Roll January 31, 2009

Filed under: natural,natural hair care — R.D. @ 7:22 am
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What I am loving: Sasha and Malia’s natural hair January 30, 2009

 

Angela Jolie is Raising A Beautiful Daughter January 26, 2009

Filed under: children,natural hair care — R.D. @ 4:12 am
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When it comes to Zahara Jolie-Pitt, many self-appointed cultural critics feel that they have a lot to say about the beautiful four year old daughter of actress Angelina Jolie. Among many blacks there is much conversation about Zahara’s hair and the fact that her mother is not, “doing anything about it.” However a recent comment in the Herald Sun suggests that Jolie is doing a lot more to affirm Zahara’s sense of self than many black mothers are doing for their own.

What do you think?

” …When it comes to the subject of adoption, like when my daughter, who’s African, wants her hair to look straight like mummy’s . . . and I look for a Barbie that’s African, and the African Barbie has straight hair! And you know, why has Disney never made a film with an African-American princess?”
-Angelina Jolie

Herald Sun; November 14, 2008

 

Make Your Scalp Happy January 11, 2009

Filed under: hair oil,hair products,natural hair care — R.D. @ 11:35 pm
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I am often shopping at drug stores or in my friend’s closets for something that will quench my scalp’s thirst. Usually, when I apply an oil/moisturizer to my scalp before going to bed, all traces of the product have disappeared by morning. Recently, I saw Dr. Miracle products in my sister’s bedroom and thought I should give it a try. WE HAVE THIS WEEK’S WINNER! As I am writing to you my scalp is tingling! I have been using Dr.Miracle’s Gro Oil for two weeks now and recommend that you try it. When I use this oil my scalp is moisturized for at least 3 or 4 days and my locks have a wonderful, healthy sheen. The tingling sensation is caused by Dr. Miracle’s “Feel It” formula which promotes “strong growing hair and healthy scalp”. The oil can be used daily before styling or as a hot oil treatment when you are washing your hair. Before going to bed, I strongly recommend tying your hair with a scarf so that you do not also moisturize and strengthen your pillowcase or ruin your sheets. The oil will stain your pillowcases if you do not wrap your hair. The best thing about this product is that it is recommended for relaxed, braided, weaved and natural hair!

$: 7.99

 

Medusa-Parallels :) January 10, 2009

Filed under: natural,natural hair care — R.D. @ 10:45 pm
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(Click comic to read)
Was Medusa Black? Why were people turning to stone when they looked at her hair? Why was venomous gas used to make her hair manageable? Did she lose her strength when she cut her hair?