My sister just returned from London after studying abroad for the semester at Queen Mary University. She stayed with me for a bit before heading back home to the Bay. But, I did notice while she was here, her hair was falling out. Her hair was everywhere every day. Her hair is a bit resistant to relaxers, so in response, stylists over-process her hair. The fact of the matter is her hair just cannot be all that straight and that’s okay. So, our stylist at Ringlets recommended that my sister go natural and grow out her relaxer. Many of my friends have started down this journey in the latter years of college or right after graduation. It is an intense process, for those who embark either out of necessity or to reclaim what God gave them, because there is so much negativity swirling around Black hair within our communities and our society at large. I could go into all the pain, prejudice, obstacles and self-esteem issues revolving our crowning glory, but I will not because that has been exhausted by others. However, I will mention that Chris Rock has a fantastic documentary examining these issues in Good Hair. What particularly impressed me is that a Black man stepped up to the plate and made this documentary. Many Kudos to Chris Rock. Here’s a tangent though (you may want to skip on): I was browsing through some reviews of Rock’s documentary and I came upon one by the Wall Street Journal, one by CNN, Salon.com, and one by Essence. Let’s see who got this one right?
Suffice to say, WSJ was incredibly boring and seemed to miss the mark. CNN focused primarily on the humor aspect as did Salon.com’s interview, but, surprisingly, the interviewer did treat the documentary like a documentary that also happens to be funny. And sadly, Essence only wrote two paragraphs (shameful! and that’s why I provided no link), but then again Essence readers don’t need to read about what they already know, I suppose. So, all in all, I was impressed with the Salon interview. It seemed the most informative and the most generous. And, the basic premise or starting point of the article was genuine curiousity, there was no judgement, just a question, as opposed to WSJ’s saying it’s unusual and focusing on that aspect. There are a lot of assumptions in that opening sentence that created a distance that really put me off. I do have to say, it was ironic that two men were spouting off about Black women’s hair in the Salon interview. At the same time, it did warm my heart to see that men care. Maybe, men can learn?
And now we’re back to where I wanted to go: Men can learn. We just might see the modern man one day. I was led to believe this when I was perusing Clutch Magazine and I ran across a link pointing to a site called, The Coil Review. The site focuses on natural hair and the lifestyle that goes along with it. It points to the way towards products, gives tips, and has other fun and interesting articles, too. My favorite was the Memoirs of a White Man. I’m not sure if the “guy” is a fictional character or a real person (I prefer the latter), but it was encouraging to see that men can care, can learn, and generally be the man they should be. He was fascinated, informed, not condescending, open, and accepting. Sometimes, it still blows me away to find people are not as ignorant and narrow-minded as my own life experience has taught me to expect. So, two thumbs up to the White Man in The Coil Review. And two thumbs up to The Coil Review for creating a space that is interactive, knowledgeable, and useful.