Just Say No to Combs

JustSayNoToCombs

It’s just plain math, i.e., logic. No one likes pain. IF combing hair causes pain and hair must/should be combed, THEN, hair that can be combed with no/less pain IS “good hair.”

Time is precious. IF combing hair rakes a lot of time and hair must/should be combed, THEN, hair that can be combed with no/less time IS “good hair.”

If you have very tightly coiled-hair that you don’t regularly change into not-so-bad hair with chemical or mechanical heat, your hair could logically be reasoned to be bad unless you style your hair WITHOUT COMBING in a manner that does not require pain or undue time (more than about 90 minutes per week). Or, unless you shave it all off.

I do not have “bad hair” and I am not bald. My hair is a mix of curls of various diameters (some natural and some fashioned with conditioner and my fingers) and naps and locs. I REASONABLY de-tangle my hair with my fingers before and after washing. I do use scissors to clean the lines here and there as I got myself emotionally unattached to length except enough to see the luxurious, has-its-own-mind textures. But, I’ve no need to rid my head of every single tangle anymore than I’ve a need for the shrubbery in my yard to look just like the grass. And, I get compliments all the time on both my hair and my yard.

I had a math problem to solve and I solved it.

In South Africa, during “apartheid,” white folks would administer the “comb test” to determine whether to classify some children as “coloured” (mixed race) and, therefore qualified to be spared of some mistreatment coming to those classified as black. THAT is a “racially biased” test if ever I heard of one. I refuse to administer it to myself.

I must, according to my counter-racist code, tell the truth about my weaknesses and faults in any matter that I solicit the same of others. And, that truth is that I did not correctly solve this problem at the time that I chose to have offspring. I solved the “bad hair” problem of my offspring by selecting a father with straight hair. He also has pink skin.

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34 Responses to “Just Say No to Combs”

  1. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    kingmidas, what is more common forblack people to do: mistreat a darker-skinned person/ give preference to a lighter-skinned person OR to mistreat a lighter-skinned person/give preference to a darker-skinned person?

    When the latter occurs (and I say infrequently), is a result of the former. And, if so, which is really OUR one and only version of colorism?

    I would evaluate what someone says based upon its logical merit. However, it has been my experience that the more one demonstrates a preference for non-blackness, the more likely it is for him/her to do and say things that are not logical towards eliminating the system of white domination/anti-blackness

  2. Greetings to all the readers of this site.

    To respond to your question @cree7, what I meant by what I said in my last post when I wrote “our own version of color-ism” is this, discrimination/disregard of another black person because they are not black enough due in part of their genetic make up, whom they choose for as a mate, and or because of who they associate with.

    To answer @LBM 1st part of the question, I don’t think it makes them anti-black. In my opinion i think it would be foolish to think that because i would have to ask myself what evidence do I have to come to that conclusion. I would not dismissed someone ideas and concepts based on who’s their significant other is. I know of plenty non-whites who marry outside their race and have contributed greatly to our society.

    To the second part of LBM’s question, I am not in a position nor would I want be in a position of lecturing/telling black females on what to do in that particular situation. Come to your own conclusion.

    Ya’ll take care, until next time be good to yourselves.

  3. “How can we move forward as a group if we are practicing our own version of color-ism? So what if that man’s wife is biracial, if she is good for him then she’s good for him.”

    KINGMIDAS, I too am asking the same questions CREE did.

    Additionally, do you think it’s possible for African/Black/Nationalist TALKING black males to concurrently be anti-black female? If so, what should be the response of black women in terms of how we regard such persons.

  4. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Thanks for your welcoming words, kingmidas. I will not attempt to speak for Kushite Prince (KP). I will say that I am uncomfortable with anyone being described as “one of my followers.” Kushite Prince has his own very constructive blog, Kushite Kingdom, and, as is the case with all black people with whom I engage on the subject of racism (white domination), we simply and, often, profoundly exchange views. I subscribe to the United Individual method. There should be no groups or cliques in this effort to eliminate this wretched system.

    Per the video that KP posted, I replied to him with some thoughts. I went into greater detail during the radio program, Anti-Blackness in Context on Justice Lab. I believe I address your comments thoroughly in that discussion.

    I will specifically reply to comments here by asking, what you mean when you say “our own version of color-ism?” And, what other versions of color-ism are there? And who practices each?

  5. Yo Cree first of all i want to say it’s good to see you posting on your blog again, I hardly get to hear you on TheCOWS anymore, anyway i hope all is well with you. What have you been up to?

    I wanted to comment on that video that one one of your followers posted, I think he goes by the handle “kushite_prince” or whatever.

    In this video you got this random guy going on a rant about Dr. Baruti’s wife not being full African is not constructive to the black collective. I think that is ass backward thinking. It’s that divide and conquer tactics.

    How can we move forward as a group if we are practicing our own version of color-ism? So what if that man’s wife is biracial, if she is good for him then she’s good for him.

    Judge the man’s by his actions, not by whom he chooses as a mate.Some of ya’ll are so scared of dealing with this problem called “white-supremacy”, that you’d rather attack each other instead of dealing with it head on.

  6. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    No doubt, KP. And, thank you for the well-wishes. Those always help.

  7. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Apologies, M1. I knew I was talking to you. But, my fingers have some sort of dementia whereby I’m calling everyone, “KP.” Maybe, I’ve been doing too much kitchen duty.

  8. CREE the film maker?? Has a nice ring to it! Definitely give me the heads up when you’re almost finished. You know I’ll promote it on my blog. I’m actually thinking about writing book myself. I just need a really good topic and title.lol It’s a lot of work trying to do things like books,films,etc. But I think you just have to be disciplined and stay focused.
    That’s great if Facebook is helping you connect with others. The more the better. It’s important to spread counter-racism to as many as possible. Just don’t forget about your blogger buddies. And good luck on your film. 🙂

  9. @LBM

    “I’m simply saying, me, LBM, is not in the business of claiming anyone who will definitely present white in my personal space. Doesn’t mean I can’t dialogue with such persons or except them for what they say they are – just don’t want to mix egg and sperm with them….Or see “their family” at family functions.”

    I definitely can FEEL where you’re coming from LBM.lol I think I understand your position a little better now.
    As far as black people marrying people with a white parent–I see your point. I think too many black men in particular marry these mixed women to “lighten” their bloodline,so to speak. Trust me,it’s being done consciously. Although they will say otherwise.

  10. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Oh, and M1, thanks for standing by Maya….and me. You touch me.

  11. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Thanks, M1. I’m on an inspiration only basis on the blog now. I may be incorrect. But, I think Facebook gives me more exposure. In addition, my husband and I are producing a short film. But, always good to hear from you, M1!

  12. Nice to see you back in good form from your hiatus. I know some combs are damaging but this is new and interesting. Now as a listener,I know of your past marriage, l don’t hold it against you. To the people that do, I’m willing to bet those people will say how much they are mourning the passing of Maya Angelou. Will praise her,say Still I Rise and not care about her marriages or say “So what? She was down for the cause. She was a real Sista. ” Stay focused and productive.

  13. “My personal functional definition…”

    KP. Eddie Murphy, like many others, purposely had children with someone who has a white parent. While I might engage in a public discussion with such offspring as a “black” person, again, my “personal” code does not endorse it. Contrary to Dr. Welsing’s dominant black gene theory – I look at Bob Marley’s sons. Except for one, the presence of his white father (their grandfather) continues in the lineage-regardless of the mothers’ hues. Some shyt we can’t control- my daughter is not as dark as me or my husband – I’m simply saying, me, LBM, is not in the business of claiming anyone who will definitely present white in my personal space. Doesn’t mean I can’t dialogue with such persons or except them for what they say they are – just don’t want to mix egg and sperm with them….Or see “their family” at family functions 😦

  14. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Whoops! Thank you for the correction, KP.

  15. @CREE

    I believe your comments were directed to LBM not me. It’s okay,honest mistake.lol

  16. @LBM

    You said:

    “As some already know, my functional definition of Black requires 2 black parents – 2 parents of African descent sans non-black parents in their immediate lineage. My personal functional definition requires 2 black parents as well as 2 sets of black grandparents. In other words, I have not laid with anyone who had white/non-black parents or grandparents and I would prefer the same of my immediate kinfolk. Have no intention of communicating with white granny-in law.”
    That’s an interesting perspective LBM. I don’t hear that very often. So if a person has two black grandparents on the father’s side and one black grandparent on the mother’s side—they wouldn’t be considered black? Actor Eddie Murphy is a good example. His children have one white grandparent. Are these kids black?

    You’d be hard pressed to find someone to say otherwise.

  17. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Thank you and in colloquial terms, “RESPECT, ” KP. You are qualified to use you own standards n terms of those with whom you voluntarily associate. While I you have two elements that differ from mine, I think all of your bases are reasonable.

    On Nelson Mandela: He was from the Xhosa ethnic group not the Khoi San. The Xhosa and the Khoi San have common ancestors. Hence the similar sounding names of their groups, the common clicking sounds in their languages, and the fact that they both have slanted eyes though the Khoi San’s eyes’ are more slanted. However, th two groups look distinctly different. The Xhosa are, generally, significantly darker-skinned and have significantly larger and taller bodies.

  18. Thanks,I appreciate that. I was really busy so I couldn’t call in last night. But I will definitely check it out it out in the archives. The video is very provocative. I’m sure you and Jones had a great discussion.

  19. I don’t know that I would describe the Khoi San’s hue as “yellow.” I’ve seen pictures and I think I was told that Mandela is a descendant of the Khoi San. There is a “flatness” of vibrancy in hue, but I wouldn’t say “yellow” . There is a marked difference between his complexion and say Mugabe’s, or the gorgeous Senegalese, I wouldn’t call him “yellow”, not even in the colloquial usage of “high yella.” Relativity I guess.

    As for definitions of “Black” and who is qualified to speak as -or for – Black people, allow me to think/write out loud :

    As some already know, my functional definition of Black requires 2 black parents – 2 parents of African descent sans non-black parents in their immediate lineage. My personal functional definition requires 2 black parents as well as 2 sets of black grandparents. In other words, I have not laid with anyone who had white/non-black parents or grandparents and I would prefer the same of my immediate kinfolk. Have no intention of communicating with white granny-in law.

    That said, in respect to my cyber-sister CREE, I could never say that I’m cool with the fact that she laid with an anti-human – wouldn’t wish that on any human – or had a child with such. THAT said, I must admit, in terms of communicating with “bi-racial” folk, I place more prejudged trust in those with a black mother than not. I respect the womb that bears just that much.

    In terms of who I “trust” in conversations around black folk and racism, anti-blackness and justice- while I do carry a definite personal bias against black males who have slept with white females in the past, I definitely a have problem with those (male & female) who currently do it as well as those who get as close to it as possible while cloaking their anti-blackness in “non-white” as a lot of “brothas” do.

    …i lost where I was going…

    ,,,dang…anyway…my daughter has really good hair – thick and tightly coiled. Her hair has never been chemically straightened -at some point, probably teenage years, we started blow-drying it when we wanted to speed up the usual process of washing, plain shea butter/avocado/olive oil and either leaving it or twisting/plaiting (no comb) until dried. At that point a wide tooth comb/pick would be used for whatever style. I know other sisters who were natural from the start (key detail) who currently have heads full of natural healthy hair. But you have to treat the process as a labor of love – take the time to be gentle and separate & twist, and wait for drying according to the style you want.

  20. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Please forgive the delayed reply, K.P….a victim’s life you understand.

    So, I thought the video was extremely interesting. Enough so that I recommended it for content on the counter-racist BTR program, Justice Lab. The host, Universal Jones, says he will be playing it in its entirety tonight, 5-22-14.

    I do agree that the one-drop rule as a scientific/genetic principle/theory/hypothesis and any theory that is derived from it is false. I have done a couple of BR broadcasts on that. LBM and I first got acquainted right here on this blog discussing this very matter.

    I have seen Neely Fuller in person. There is no doubt in my mind that he has more genetic contribution from non-black/non-negroid/non-Africoid sources than from the black/negroid/africoid ones. However, I do not know the classification or phenotype of either of his parents. I have seen photos of Mwalimu Baruti’s wife and she certainly is someone that I would believe is classified as black despite the fact that she is lighter skinned.

    Here is my position on who is black and who is not—whether or not one parent is white or some other non-black person: Whether a person is black or not is determined by Behavior that I observe if I have had a chance to observe it. This behavior includes conscious acts as well as those that are unconscious/less conscious. Acts that are less conscious include things we normally attribute to “aura; small facial movements, rhythm of speech, posture, gait, etc.. To me, a creature, including “a person is, essentially its in-born instincts of behavior. These behavioral instincts are HIGHLY correlated with phenotype but are not completely so. It does not take me more than a few minutes, usually seconds, to determine whether I think a person is black. In a pinch or if it’s borderline to me, I’ll go with hair texture and hue. I do not agree with the speaker that other traits common to undeniably whit folks, such as pinched facial features are native to the Africoid type. Neither do I agree with him that skin hue lighter than a paper bag is always a result of admixture with a non-Africoid type. The Khoi San are thought by most to be the oldest homo sapien type. And, they are of a yellow hue with peppercorn hair.

  21. @CREE
    Here’s the video. It’s kind of long at 24:00 minutes. You can just jump to the 15:00 minute mark. I wanted to know your opinion on if biracials should be considered black. Also he mentions Baruti’s wife. I’m not sure if Neely Fuller is mixed. If he is,I’ve never heard it from Fuller himself. Does this guy no something that I don’t? Who knows? Just check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks.

  22. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Sure. Post it. I’ll need you to pose specific questions to me abut it. though, KP.

  23. @CREE
    Thanks for the response. I’m surprised you went so in depth. But I appreciate you answering the questions. I’m sorry to hear that the father is no longer a part of her life. Maybe it’s for the best. Does she want contact with him? Or is she cool without being close to him?
    At any rate,I’m glad to hear that your daughter is “proud” of her blackness. I have met plenty of biracial/mixed people that want nothing to do with embracing their blackness. They want to blend into invisibility. Yeah right? Like that’s even possible in this racist system.

    “I would not say I have ever been embarrassed about other black people finding out that my offspring/daughter has a white father. I have, though, always understood that it would cause some black people to doubt my sincerity or to find that I am unqualified to speak about some or all matters concerning race. And, that is quite understandable to me but welcome the opportunity to explain the circumstances when asked. I suppose the difference between me and your black male friends that you mentioned is that since my daughter’s birth, my approach to the “race problem” has always been from the “Counter-racist” approach suggested by Neely Fuller, Jr. and not as a Black Nationalist or Africentic person.”

    It’s interesting you say this. I’ve been following this guy on Youtube that is a an Afrocentrist. I agree with some of what he says…although not all. He has some very strong opinions. I’ve seen him attack Umar Johnson and Mwalimu Baruti. He claims that Baruti’s wife is too light-skinned. He thinks she could be mixed,therefore Baruti is not truly DOWN for the cause. Also in that same video he claims to debunk Frances Cress Welsing’s theory. He says that Neely Fuller is a “mullato” and can not properly represent the plight of black people. I never heard that Fuller was biracial,have you? Anyway,he goes on and on and on…… Can I post the video here? I just want to know you’re opinion.

  24. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Greetings, Kushite Prince! First, let me say what a terrific piece on our hair you did. Just terrific. I’m glad you linked it in your comments. Yes, the helix or spiral is the foundational geometry of the known physical universe. I did not address the purposes for hair other than adornment and I’m so glad that you did.

    I do not mind answering your questions about my daughter’s father. If if were going to mind, I should not have written the post. I appreciate that we have developed some familiarity while talking on internet radio over the years and that, thus, I have no suspicion of ill will from you. But, I should be willing to answer such questions from anybody whom I believe is black. So…

    I met my daughter’s father when I was in college at our common employer on campus. I was a peer counselor and he was a tutor for the same program assisting black and Hispanic students who were the first in their families to attend college.

    He and I separated 16 years ago when my daughter was 5 and father-daughter visitations ceased within months of that separation. Until my daughter was 18, he and I had occasional contact regarding those matters in which we were required by law to jointly consult. And, that was usually by email and very infrequent . Now, he and I have no contact whatsoever.

    I’m not a person, myself, who is “proud” to be black though I do prefer my phenotype and bloodline traits to others. So, that has been transmitted to my daughter. She could, if she chose, be classified and/or mistaken for non-black. She is often asked if she is Cuban, Mexican, Pacific Islander, etc.. However, we are VERY close and, since she was quite small, she has preferred helix-hair and browner skin than she has. When she was about seven and we were getting ourselves ready to leave the house, she told me how much she looked forward to getting her breasts and brown skin like me when she grew up. 🙂 More to the point, however, I have never observed her voluntarily accepting advantage that she would not have been offered were she perceived as undeniably black. Admitedly, I am not an objective observer.

    I would not say I have ever been embarrassed about other black people finding out that my offspring/daughter has a white father. I have, though, always understood that it would cause some black people to doubt my sincerity or to find that I am unqualified to speak about some or all matters concerning race. And, that is quite understandable to me but welcome the opportunity to explain the circumstances when asked. I suppose the difference between me and your black male friends that you mentioned is that since my daughter’s birth, my approach to the “race problem” has always been from the “Counter-racist” approach suggested by Neely Fuller, Jr. and not as a Black Nationalist or Africentic person. So, I’ve, since that time, viewed myself as the prey of my daughter’s father. As a black woman, I’m used to being unwelcome and viewed as lacking the qualification to say something. That kind of opposition, spoken or unspoken, is an ever present counter-force like psychological gravity to me.

    Thanks for asking, KP.

    I, too, remember El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz on what would have been his 89th birthday.

  25. Good post Cree. This whole “good hair” and ‘bad hair” is a real sore spots for many black people. I’ve had correct some family members for saying good hair. I have two aunts that have so called long good hair. They describe it has “fine hair”. Is this a correct term? Does the Code Book saying anything about what term we should use instead of saying good hair? I’ll have to check it. I haven’t pulled out my Code Book in a few months. I did a related post about two years ago. Not sure if you saw it or not.
    http://kushiteprince.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/your-beautiful-hair-is-really-an-antenna-embrace-your-nappy-hair/

    You said:
    “I must, according to my counter-racist, code tell the truth about my weaknesses and faults in any matter that I solicit the same of others. And, that truth is that I did not correctly solve this problem at the time that I chose to have offspring. I solved the “bad hair” problem of my offspring by selecting a father with straight hair. He also has pink skin.”
    I don’t know why but I always seem to forget this. For some reason I forget you had a child a guy with “pale skin”. I guess it’s because I only envision you with your current husband. I’m kind of curious,if you don’t mind. Where did you meet your child’s father? Do you still have contact with him? Also,do you try to instill a sense of black pride into your son/daughter?
    I ask because I have had black male friends who have children with white women. Some have told me they love their kids but have a sense of regret still being connected to these white women. One of them even became a pro-black militant and says he feels embarrassed when people find out he has kids with a white girl. I was wondering did you ever have similar feelings. if you feel these questions are too personal,I understand. You don’t have to answer them. I’ve chatted with you many times over the years and I was just curious as to what your mindset might be regarding these questions. Thanks Cree.
    Oh yeah,Happy Birthday Malcolm X. He was our shining prince.

  26. I get what you’re saying more better now. But I do not agree with your logics whatsoever.

  27. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    knowledgefullcircle, thanks for asking for the clarification.

    I am saying the opposite of what you asked. I am saying there is NO comb at any time or place, in Africa or elsewhere, of any shape or configuration that overcomes the laws of physics I described in my first comment. Lubrication decreases the inevitable collision between comb and tangles but does not come come close to eliminating it. An electric comb, such as the Remington Tangle Tamer, that vibrates at a very high rate is effective. But, if one needs such a high level of technology to comb one’s hair, or a lot of time and/or pain relative to those with straighter hair to have one’s hair considered well-groomed, we are back to the logic of having good and bad hair.

    See, the idea that hair should be combed is so ingrained and unquestioned that the idea that it should not causes cognitive dissonance at first for many of us. 🙂

  28. You’re Welcome ! Yes I get that it’s important to use the right type of comb to comb course/woolly hair or any other type of hair texture that becomes tangled up and that becomes hard to comb after it hasn’t been comb for awhile or just to comb in general. However just so that I am clear with what you’re saying, are you saying that we as African people were using the wrong type of combs during antiquity and during modern times to comb and manage the type of texture (course/woolly) hair that we mostly have ?

  29. CREE-EIGHT Says:

    Thank you for all of the links knowledgefullcircle. I have been aware for some time now of the argument that the difficulty with combing tightly-coiled hair is caused by using the “wrong” kind of comb–the ones we used in Africa. It is not persuasive to me simply because of experience and logic. Flat fibers/hairs that touch each other WILL become tangled/enmeshed because of the surface area friction. It is simply a matter of statistics and physics. There is no comb of any shape or spacing of teeth that is a magic de-tangler. Electric combs that vibrate at a very high speed make de-tangling much easier by moving the surfaces of the hairs off of one another faster than the comb slides through the collection of hairs. I used it extensively when I first cut off my 14-yr=old locs several years ago. I’d rather not depend on that high of level of technology just to be presentable to myself and the world.

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