Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 8:11AM The Blogmother
In recent pictures it's clear Angelina Jolie hasn’t taken the time to learn or understand the long and painful history of African-American women and hair. If she had I can’t imagine she would continue to allow Zahara to look like she has in the past few months. Photos of Zahara show the 4-year-old girl sporting hair that is wild and unstyled, uncombed and dry. Basically: a “hot mess.’’ Allison Samuels of Newsweek
This post is dedicated to every little Black girl that has been going along living her life freely when she encounters a fully grown Black woman spouting vitriolic hateful criticism because the little Black girl isn't wearing the same shackles that are hanging around the neck of said fully grown Black woman.
Apparently Newsweek ran out of things to report in the middle of a massive economic meltdown, a war in Afghanistan, and the rapid devaluation of the dollar, and decided to do a hit job on Zahara Jolie Pitt called Zahara Jolie-Pitt and the Politics of Uncombed Hair. You MUST read this ENTIRE article at Newsweek. Allison Samuels tries to argue that the Earth is flat. With NO facts in support of her delusions. She has a very narrow and delusional idea of what"well groomed" hair looks like:
Any self-respecting black mother knows that she must comb, oil, and brush her daughter’s hair every night. This prevents the hair from matting up, drying out, and breaking off. It also prevents any older relatives from asking them why you’re neglecting your child and letting her run around looking like a wild woman. Having well-managed hair is not just about style, it’s about pride, dignity, and self-respect. Keeping your daughter’s hair neat is an unspoken rule of parental duties that everyone in the community recognizes and respects.
Hair that is nice, neat, and cared for also gives African-American girls the confidence that they can fit into the world at large without being seen as completely different.
BWHAHAHA Are you reading what the heck you're writing? Combing, brushing and SLATHERING you hair every night is a sign of pride dignity and self respect? NO, its a sign you're jacking up your hair. Where did you get you hair styling expertise? Don King and Al Sharpton? Oh yeah right, you got it from Media Take Out's comment's section. To support her broadside of a Black toddler, Ms. Samuels relied on such reliable sources as the comments section of Media Take Out. Are you serious? Media Take Out? Even the people who comment on Media Take Out don't take MTO as seriously as Allison Samuels did.I mean would a White reporter try to pass off the comments at the National Enquirer as credible commentary?The reason why our hair is breaking off is because we do to much to it.
Its disgusting. She's four years old and Allison Samuels is gunning hard for this little Black girl.
A few years ago when actress Angelina Jolie announced she’d be adopting a 6-month-old girl from Africa, I had mixed emotions. I’ve always thought Jolie was one of the flyest chicks in the Hollywood game, but interracial adoptions can be a tricky thing no matter how fly you are...
Up until recently, Angelina Jolie seemed to be doing a pretty decent job with Zahara Jolie Pitt—providing essential and expensive medical care, purchasing land in Zahara’s native Ethiopia with the plan to build a health center, providing a life of adventure and opportunity. Wonderful things indeed, but lately it seems Angelina has taken a page out of Tom Cruise’s book—and it all comes down to Zahara’s hair. Allison Samuels
All in all Newsweek made Black people look STUPID! There is NOTHING WRONG with Zahara's hair being "wild." Is it clean? That's all I need to know because I see many a Black girl with her hair fried and dyed and pulled tightly into pony tails. I see their damaged little ponytails and breakage along the hair line because their Mama's are styling their hair to conform with someone else' beauty standard.I see them squirming in the chair while their Mama's try to COMB their hair. I didn't have it as bad as this little girl, but it was pretty dad gum bad.
I have what is called "thick hair." I'm also "tender headed." I know this because I have NEVER sat in a beautician's chair for the first time without hearing them lament about my "thick hair." I've also endured the PAIN of Black folks idea of "styling." I'm now au natural, not because I was trying to make a political statement, but because I was taking water aerobics and in a battle between the relaxer and the chlorine, my hair lost. When my hair lost, I truly won because I stopped relaxing it, switched to cornrows and then did the big chop.
Now I keep the $1,200 + dollars a year I was handing to the beautician, not to mention my TIME! But that's not the best thing about my "unkempt", "wild" hair. Let me let you in on a naughty secret... today I walked in the rain. Yeah. it rained today and I walked outside. Even though I had an umbrella with me, I left it in the car. I no longer rule my hair and my hair no longer rules me. In fact, yesterday somebody at Wal-mart screamed across the parking lot "I love your hair!" Same thing happened Saturday. No Comb involved! On an escalator, in an airport restroom, in the frozen food aisle, in the check out line at Whole Foods while peppering me with questions about shea butter, I run into Black women of various hair dimensions who celebrate the same freedom even if they aren't privy to it. I'm comb-free and loving it. When I was picking out my fro everyday, I ended up with split ends until someone at my natural hair meet up said "STOP". It was a revelation. You mean I shouldn't try to get it in a perfectly round fro every day? Nope!
This was a really LOW BLOW for Newsweek and they should be ASHAMED for targeting a 4 year old child for this type of public ridicule. You can't discern ANYTHING about Zahara's family life based on her hair. Angelina might be listening to the same hair styling advice I now follow which is to LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE! Your hair doesn't want to have you exercising dominion over it everyday! Allison Samuel's attack on Zahara says more about Ms. Samuel than Angelina Jolie's parenting skills. There are a lot of Black "traditions" that don't need to be passed along. Show of hands for all the Black women who had their ears singed as children behind a hot comb. Chemical burn survivors? Where you at sisters who remember the pain to the too tight rubber bands. Who up in here has heard the oh so familiar sizzle of the curling iron? Who has run from the rain, skipped a workout because you didn't want to sweat your hair out, or been stuck seething at a beautician for washing you hair throwing on some conditioner and leaving you sitting there for three hours while you have to endure the sales pitches of various "merchants" who meander into he shop selling tapes, magazine subscriptions, pecan candy, jewlry, purses and pork chop dinners? Why would you wish that on a 4 year old.
Real talk, just as this little girl's hair in this YouTube video was used as a guise to abuse her, this feigned concern about "culture" is a guise to strike out at a toddler. Why? Zahara Jolie Pitt INFURIATES many of you, not because of how her hair is styled, but because little Zahara is FREE! Free from the pain, free from the misery, free from being shackled to a hair salon where she dedicates an entire day's pay and her entire weekend sitting in a chair waiting her turn. It infuriates you that she's not walking around with YOUR BAGGAGE. All this FAKE worrying about Zahara being in touch with her cultural heritage is a smoke screen, what you really want for Zahara is to share YOUR PAIN. Leave her alone. If this country is good at anything, its giving Black women various complexes about how they look. Zahara will be encumbered soon enough.
Samuels says that Black women's hair is "painful", but she never indicated WHY. maybe its painful because generation after generation of young Black girls go through the same horrific ritual carried out by women like Samuel. The heat, the chemicals, the burning. The complaining from older Black women about our hair being "thick" or "coarse" of heaven forbid if we are "tender headed." As if having sensation in the scalp is some kind of affliction. I'm sick of this mess! If I read one more article in a mainstream publication about Black women and their neurosis about hair, skin, butts or anything else.... We're not doing any kind of exploration as to WHY we have these neuroses, but merely act as hand maidens who reinforce these cultural mores' without challenging them. We retell all of our childhood horrors and struggles, without sending a clear message to young Black women that THEY DON'T HAVE TO STRUGGLE. Instead, we want to indoctrinate as many Black girls as possible into the "system." Fooling them into believing that if they can control their hair, their walk, their clothes, and their men, that they will have a better life, when in fact, we set them up to be MISERABLE, which is the way some of you want it. Misery loves company. This isn't exploration. Ms. Samuels is an ENFORCER. Zahara's freedom is breaking the rules, so Ms. Samuels is attacking a FOUR-YEAR-OLD to keep her in line and it ain't pretty.
I think a Newsweek commenter said it best:
How pathetic...the author of this article is upset because Jolie and Pitt aren't doing a good enough job of projecting a centuries old hair-inferiority complex onto little Zahara. Oh my God, horror of horrors - the child might actually grow up thinking her hair looks good just the way it is! She might actually be free of the pathological need to straighten, relax, restrain, or otherwise tame her hair, and we can't have that CAN WE? The author should go into therapy and leave little Z alone. Newsweek
I agree, this article is PATHETIC. I just wrote about a similar phenomenon with Michelle Obama for the Guardian.
On another note...
Dear Editorial Decision-makers,
The next time a Black writer pitches you a story about Black women's hair, skin, noses, butts, or any other body part, you have my permission to say "NO!" If they call you racist or challenge your commitment to diversity, refer them to this post, by which I immunize you in advance from such charges. Why? because we've hit our Black woman hair neurosis quota for FY 2009. We've officially jumped the shark. Tell them to find something else to write about like...gender inequity in Black institutions or who the heck is paying for Reverend Al Sharpton to go gallivanting around the country with Lisa Raye or why is it the Black community seems to care about little Black girl's hair but turn a blind eye when much older men and boys in the community have sex with them . Yeah, I said it!
Hey Allison, check out le coil, it just might give you a heart attack. Hat tip Angel on Fire.
Don't forget to like our Facebook Page. We shut down our NING network. My book More Than Words is now available for download for $3.99 | 153 Comments |