“What is acceptable hair? Beard that doesn’t chaw you? Like a acceptable dog? Ridiculous.”
This adduce is address of my grandma Loretta Mae Chevalier. Acceptable hair, of course, is what atramentous Americans acclimated to alarm beard that was silky-straight—more white-looking than black. Grandma’s POV was appealing evolved, abnormally for a woman built-in in Louisiana in 1919. (Of course, she additionally alleged my mom’s curly, prone-to-frizz locks aggrandize hair, because it “rose in the heat.” The duality of that woman!)
Grandma didn’t get the “good hair” thing, because her beard was the ogue of that divisive, abhorrent term: pin-straight. No one alleged her an bedraggled pickaninny for cutting her beard the way it grew out of her head. I anticipation of her as I watched Nappily Ever After, the accomplished new Netflix blur starring Sanaa Lathan (based on Trisha Thomas’ 2001 best-seller), which explored the accord amid atramentous mothers and daughters, through beard rituals.
In the blur Lathan plays Violet, a adorned ad exec with a absolute life, a accomplished abiding boyfriend, and bright beard that her mom (still) hot-combs every week. Aback her admirer adeptness her with a dog instead of an assurance ring, she has a mini accident and gives up her appearance of “perfection.” She shaves off her beeline beard and defiantly rocks a badly short, accustomed ‘do. It’s a acknowledgment of independence—one that’s met with reactions alignment from atheism to contemptuousness (especially from her mom, clumsily played by Lynn Whitfield).
I admired it, abnormally aback I bethink the book actuality a awareness aback it dropped, in 2001. I was a twenty-something adorableness editor in New York—and I lived in the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn, which at the about-face of the millennium was the epicenter of the Afrocentric
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. And now, this is the initial picture: