The Negro Consultant and the Movie “Good Hair”

dreads

By Guest Blogger  Wendy Coakley-Thompson

Chris Rock put us black women on blast with his new movie, Good Hair.

As you know, in the flick, he dishes about black women and all the ways that we try to tame their hair. In characteristic Chris Rock style, he explores, among other things, weaves, hair shows, and chemical relaxers – aka, “the creamy crack.”

During a lull on the job recently, I was talking to a white co-worker about Good Hair. Well, folks, when you’re part of a diversity posse in this age of Obama, sometimes you find yourself in the role of the Negro Consultant. The conversation shifted, and this co-worker, genuinely curious, suddenly asked me why black women get so mad when white people ask them questions about their hair. I chose to see that as a teachable moment. Hell, I’d rather that she’d asked me about my hair than just presumptuously reach out and touch it, like the crazy boss that I’d told you about. You remember…the one who sent her black subordinate a Facebook request?

Plus my co-worker was right. Why should we black women assume that white people would know anything about perms, or braids, or especially about sewing tracks for weaves? One black comedian talking about Madam C.J. Walker, the black woman who invented a special straightening comb, asked who else but a sistah would have done it?  Still, if you can believe this, some black folks are mad at Chris Rock. One of my Examiner colleagues reported that the Internet is abuzz with folks accusing Chris Rock of presenting black women as shallow self-haters.

Unbelievable.

Personally, I ain’t mad at Chris Rock. In fact, I’m pleased. Because of him informing while entertaining, I may not get questions about how I wash my dreadlocks (umm… lather, rinse, repeat. Duh!). Or if I wash my dreadlocks (emphatically, yes, I do!). I’m thankful that Chris Rock is dispelling myths and revealing secrets about us.

Anybody who lightens my load as the Negro Consultant can get my twelve bucks at the movies any time.

Author Wendy Coakley-Thompson is the DC Publishing Industry Examiner at Examiner.com. Check her out at http://www.examiner.com/x-6658-DC-Publishing-Industry-Examiner.

9 comments

  1. Athena Nike says:

    As tacky as it is for realitysurfer to utilize alphanista and Chris Rock’s flick to re-inntroduce/promote his documentary on the black hair care industry, I will say it was very informative and reminded me of some issues I have had with korean shop owners – they know they’ve pretty much cornered the market, and therefore treat us like ‘where else are you going to get this from at this price’ and not honor refunds or exchanges, and just be nasty. There is a shop I never visited again because early when small businesses and fast food start getting credit machines (like 2000), I went to purchase some gel or something cheap, whip out debit card cause I saw the visa logo on the door, but dude wanted me to make a min $5 purchase. I’m like, I don’t need anything else, begrudgingly he lets me make my $3 purchase but then says ‘next time min purchase is $5’— oh, there won’t be a next time, and there wasn’t!
    For the last year I’ve mainly visited black owned beauty supply or ordered online my professional products, then shop sally’s/walmart for everyday products. I will continue my effort to shop black owned.

    Back to being negro consultant, I recollected being in undergrad watching some special on Naomi Campbells career, me and friends are chatting during the show, and this white girl watching in the lounge with us tryna tell us sisters that all that yaki and indian hair down Naomi’s back was her natural hair – especially when over the course of the show her hair had been all kinds of colors and lengths for these fashion shows and magazines. But this white girl was adamant, we looked at her like she obviously does not know a lot of black people and is so naive. Plus I think because Naomi is british, she thought she was a different type of black that could grow silky straight caramel coloured hair…

  2. Aisha says:

    Extensions are worn by a lot of different cultures today black, white and Latin. Yes ladies a lot of those wet and wavy, long beautiful manes that you see on the Latin mamis are just as real (fake) as the sisters. I know because my bff is Latina and she is the queen of weave and when I get tracks and go to the Dominicans for a wash and set they always show me theirs. Look at the Kardashians we all know they account for at least 6 bald little girls in India every month LOL.

  3. I don’t usually get offended, unless the question is really stupid or based on some black mythology, like the “How do you wash your locks” one. BTW, about white women using extensions, this co-worker schooled me about that. Perhaps that’s the next piece… (no pun intended!)

  4. Please take a moment to check out my documentary film BLACK HAIR

    It is free at youtube. 6 parts including an update from London, England.

    It explores the Korean Take-over of the Black Beauty Supply and Hair biz..

    The current situation makes it hard to believe that Madame C.J. Walker once ran the whole thing.

    I am not a hater, I am a motivator.

    Plus I am a White guy who stumbled upon this, and felt it was so wrong I had to make a film about it.

    self-funded film, made from the heart.

    Can it be taken back?

    Link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p96aaTSdrAE

  5. Athena Nike says:

    Sun tan, spray tan, bronzer….they do it up to look “healthy.”
    Never had a problem discussing my hair with the caucasions, but I think for some sisters the movie does reveal/stir up a level of insecurity about our looks/their looks. Some of us are over it, we wear our hair the way we do cause its what we like and works for us, like myself I am all about healthy hair and scalp – while being on the creamy crack :).
    Others are just keeping up with trends, shave one side, spike it, color it
    But some still feel in competition with white, latina, asian and whatever other flavor the brothers in their region are into. That’s a deep personal issue, just like church, don’t feel good when the preacher touch on your issue, but its necessary in order to be delivered and healed.
    I’m trying to see it tomorrow with a group of women in the city invited thru social network site, so perhaps have more to say then.

  6. hiphopmuse says:

    I personally don’t mind when people ask me questions about black people, as long as they are being sincere. I’d rather them ask than make assumptions. I haven’t seen the movie for myself yet, so I can’t comment on it. But the general consensus I’ve heard from the black community is that they don’t like how we’re being depicted. I’ll have to determine for myself when I see it.

  7. Connie from Vegas says:

    I go to a white hair salon and the white women are getting perms to make their hair curly and extensions sown in just like me. My Mom who owned beauty salons back in the day says that this has been going on in their community long before Blacks could afford. Chris Rock needs to do a documentary on how much sun tan lotion has been bought, visiting tanning salons, and taking vacations to sit in the sun to become brown…HELLO!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *