Dear Black Women Giving Me Hair Advice about My African Daughter: Please Stop , A Caucasian Woman’s Point Of View

Found at Patheos

When we adopted Naomi from Africa, the orphanage had shaved her head. At two and a half, she was practically bald and more like a baby than a a toddler, weighing a mere 14 pounds.

Since then, I’ve learned much about my new daughter — she has a contagious laugh, she’s physically incapable of taking a bath without splashing the water on the floor, and her love of shoes would put Imelda Marcos to shame.  What took me a little longer to figure out was hair. At first, she rocked out her Patrick Stewart bald look.  Sometimes, I’d stick a bow on her head.  Everyone oohed and ahhed and our new addition.  But then, her hair grew, and things got more complicated:

“Within months, I started getting stares from other black women in public.  If they were brave — and many  were – they’d casually mention good hair stylists I could use, tell me which websites had good information, and suggest effective products I should buy.  One lady at the store,  actually walked me to the hair style aisle and showed me exactly what I should do.  Another very kind woman sent product to school and left them in my older kids locker to help me learn how to care more effectively for her hair.  And these were not isolated incidents.  Far from it.

A very bold black cashier at the mall asked, “Why do white people go to Africa, pick up kids, throw a headband on them, and think that’s okay?”

I took a look at my cute little baby, with her little fro and her pink bow.

“I fixed it,” I said.

“No, that’s not a style,” she said.  “She’ll never know how to fix her hair if you don’t.”

Another cashier took one look at Naomi and asked, “Who’s doing her hair for you?”  Her look of contempt told me that I needed to get someone to do her hair for me.  I wasn’t having a good day, and I almost burst into tears.  When she saw my face, she said, “I mean, you’re doing an okay job, you just might want to fix it.”

This never stopped.  It got to the point that I’d try to scoot through public places in order to avoid letting other people see Naomi, for fear that I wouldn’t respond to their criticism in a Christ-like manner.  (It’s not their fault. They, after all, didn’t realize they were the sixth person to come up to me at the grocery store.)

That’s when I found Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care, a fantastic website for white moms who need to learn about their black daughters’ hair.  An invaluable resource, I followed the website’s instruction to the letter.  I bought exotic lotions and oils.  I learned how to care for it.  That’s when I learned how to do things like these braids

and beads

and I got better, and even experimented with larger, wooden beads:

The lady at the mall was right.  One day, Naomi will be a beautiful black woman, and I want her to have pride in her hair and feel comfortable in various styles.  And if that’s going to happen, it means I have to learn a great deal about her hair… and fast!  I’ve done so many experiments on Naomi’s hair — some hits and some misses — that it’s a part of our weekly routine.  (I compare it to breastfeeding. I wasn’t able to nurse Naomi, since I missed out on her infancy.  But there’s something special about the hours time spent doing  hair — it’s our bonding time, the thing we do together that no one else in our family can do….  though her older sister Camille is getting really good at braids!) Sometimes, between hair styles, her hair looks this like this:

And this is where the problems occur.  See, there’s a difference between what white women like on black children and what black women like on black children.  White women like this hairstyle very much.  But when black women see Naomi in public with an afro, they really disapprove.  No matter how many braids I’ve done, I get approached if I dare take them out and walk around in public with her.

When I tell people about how much free advice we get from African American women, white people are incredulous. After all, little girls on advertisements and on television have their hair in afros.  What’s the big deal?  Well, as far as I can tell, there’s a lot going on, socially, politically, and culturally.  On Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care website, there’s a great article called, “The Politics of Free Hair” which is well worth a read.  Rory writes about how many people give her unsolicited advice when she takes her daughter out in public with an afro.   You really wouldn’t believe how frequently it happens.  Rory says it happens every single time she takes her daughter out in public when her hair is natural.  I’d agree — sometimes several different people in one shopping excursion.

Yesterday, I was at Target in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and I braced myself.  I was in a week of “natural hair” because I was trying to avoid “part fatigue.”  The following conversation actually happened:

Cashier: What’s you name, sweet little girl?

Naomi: Naomi

Cashier: You sure are pretty.

Cashier, to me: Have you ever thought of fixing her hair?

Me: Yes, I learned how to braid and I take care of it, but it’s been braided for so long I wanted to let the parts rest a bit and give her hair a chance to be natural.

Cashier: Well, I have been looking at it, and I can tell you don’t know what you are doing.  (Then, she proceeds to give me directions to a braid shop in my hometown.)

Cashier, to Naomi: How does your mom fix your hair normally?

Naomi: in twists, in beads, in braids, in an afro….

Cashier: Well, you sure are pretty, but you’d be even prettier if your mom took you to a braid shop.

If this happens every time I go out with Naomi when her hair is in an afro, it’s obvious: hair is complicated.  This was also very clear when Gabby Douglas was the first African American gymnast to win the All Around at the Olympics,  all anyone could talk about was the fact that her hair was “ugly.”  (“She lives with a white host family and they don’t know anything about taking care of her hair,” her mother explained.)

And that public outcry over a black child’s hair is not isolated.  Angelina Jolie, who adopted little Zahara from Ethiopia, was criticized in Newsweek for the way she did — or didn’t do — her child’s hair.  Read this condescending article from writer Allison Samuels:

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… 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.’’

I don’t know Allison Samuels.  She might be a fine person.  However, imagine if I turned this around and wrote, “Allison Samuels knows a lot about moisturizing cornrows, but how many children has she saved from poverty?  How much medical care has she given to children in need?  How much land has she purchased, how many health centers has she built? Has she adopted even one kid?”

Maybe she has.  Maybe she runs an orphanage for all I know.  However, it doesn’t change the fact that her comments undermine transracial adoption and orphan care. She suggested that one day Angelina’s daughter might grow up to resent her white adoptive mother, because of the lack of attention to her hair.  Now that’s emotional manipulation right out of the Target cashier’s playbook.

Ladies with serious opinions about hair, please listen to this adoptive mother’s plea:

Even if you’re black, it doesn’t give you the right or authority to give white parents’ rude advice by critiquing a black child’s hair.  It certainly puts us in an awkward situation, because it means many interactions we have with African Americans we casually meet in public deal with our families’ inadequacies.  The message you send to our daughters — intentionally or not — is that they would be better off if only they had black parents.

You may not mean to insinuate this.  You may simply want to help out a family you believe is in need, but it doesn’t help our daughters to overhear their mothers being constantly corrected over hair styles that it takes us several hours to create.

Or, you might actually believe that black people are better off being raised by black people.  You might look at her hair, and think, “Only a white mother would do that to her kid’s hair.  That’s why white women shouldn’t have black children.”  Believe me, I’ve heard that before too.  (If you’re in that category, please read, “I”m a White Republican Raising a Black Child: Deal with It.”)

Of course, I’m new at this.  I know my braids aren’t as tight as some would like, and I secure my twists with tiny bands even though I know you say it’s not necessary.  I do it anyway.  I’m writing this because I want you to know that it’s hurtful to constantly get advice about hair, when I’m already investing so much effort into it.  Rory, over on Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care, is very kind in her assessment of these interactions, believing the conversations to be opportunities for grace.  “How I respond to people will be etched in my daughter’s memory as she grows and learns to respond to unsolicited comments and criticism in the years to come,” she writes.

I’m trying to get there spiritually, but it’s hard not to take this criticism to heart.  The bottom line is this.  My daughter is black, and I want her to be comfortable in the black community.  However, she’s also mine.  I’ll fix her hair the way I think is best on the day, and I’ll brace myself for your criticism and disapproval.

But your words aren’t helpful, and you’re really missing the beauty and transformative love of adoptive families.

And that’s a real shame.

My thoughts : I am not going to lie I AGREE WITH THIS WOMAN! African American women can be some SERIOUS line steppers and i mean HABITUAL line steppers. I understand not helping but how do you just assume this woman doesn’t know what she’s doing.

I’m not even going to comment on the cashier addressing the child. That is BEYOND disrespectful and undermines her mother.

Let me stop before i get angry. Thoughts ladies?

SEE ALSO: How I Helped My Client Regrow Her Edges In 6 - 7 Months!

 

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123 Comments

  1. Claudia Maria Moreno via Facebook says:

    I am sorry to say my reaction wouldn’t have been so calm. She was being very rude and nosey

  2. Tyana Ching via Facebook says:

    She chose to take the high road. A lot of folks still believe little girls shouldn’t have their hair “out.”

  3. All i can say is wow i live like 15 minutes from spring hill. Alot of white women do learn to do their mixed or black children’s hair. And natural hair is jus as beautiful

  4. I find it interesting, but also very true, that as she stated white people don’t have a problem with our natural hair, it’s us!! I’m hoping that will change in the near future…smh!

  5. I would have snapped soooo hard. that is crazy and sad but it doesn’t only happen to white mothers. I have had people come up to me and ask what are you going to do with your hair, and I am like this. Just wrong.

  6. Erica CareerSingle Randall via Facebook says:

    She has to take the high road since this repeatedly happens. Her getting extra defensive would lead to her daughter getting the wrong ideas about her hair or even worse…African American women in general!

  7. Angela Lugo-Thomas via Facebook says:

    I read the whole article and I hate that this happens. Ironically, I have seen posts from friends that had these same thoughts when seeing a Black child with a white parent. They would say, the little girl was so cute and friendly and had a bubbly personality but their hair was a mess. Mind you, it was just in loose braids. I had a fit cause i will be the first to tell you, I don’t have a clue on how to do my 3 girls’ hair. I know people talk about me but I don’t care. I’ve had people make comments and I always say, this is where I live and you’re welcome to come over anytime to do their hair. Crickets. I hate that we have been brainwashed and conditioned to hate our natural hair. I recently chopped off my chemicals in Sept 2012 after transitioning for 2 years. Overwhelmingly, I get lots of compliments when my hair is smoother or curlier than when it is in an afro or out really full. We really have a problem and until we see more people embrace our natural textures and styles, we’ll always have this issue.

  8. People need to mind their own business. As long as the girl’s hair looks clean, people– black women in particular, need to stop projecting their hair issues off on to others. If it is about race, that’s their problem– like suddenly if a WW knows how to cornrows it makes her a better parent? There are plenty of bad Black parents who have daughters with well-groomed hair. There’s nothing wrong with that child’s Afro, just something is wrong with the mindset of those commenting.

  9. Tamika Bates via Facebook says:

    Wow!!!..this is a shame. The sad thing is..when I wear my hair in a fro…the White coworkers love it. But the Black coworkers say negative things. I was also raised in a time of ponytails…braids..barrettes…and beads. Very rarely were my friends and I allowed to wear our hair loose in a fro. To the older people..it appeared UNKEPT..or not COMBED. smh. A shame this stigma still exists.

  10. Personally I feel that if you have little girls then either take the time to learn how to do their hair or go get it done. This mother is doing her thing. Honestly I do feel some kind of way when non-black parents (particularly mothers) have mixed children and never learn to do their hair. They treat mixed children’s hair like their own, let it become a mess, and then complain about it.

  11. Jakayla AfterGod'sHeart via Facebook says:

    I have mentioned something like this to a white mother raising a black daughter. I offered to do her hair, and she allowed me to do it. The mother even taught me a few things as well. Like using the wand thing to put more beads on quicker. She also explained to me that it was easier for her to comb her daughters hair while wet and filled with conditioner, that was why it was always so puffy,and what we call nappy looking. For the most part white women who have black children try their best with learning and perfecting black hair care. Humph there are some black women who have no idea what to do with their daughters hair so they resort to throwing a perm in it way to early. cause the hair to be damaged sometime for at least three to four years before they realize I’m going to have to go through with the big chop! Just my opinion

  12. Ive had two older ladies (black) that was old enough to be my mother (im 25) to tell me last year that i would never get a good paying job but we have people in corporate america that has natural hair

  13. I hear everything from “ur hair looks dry, how come it is not curly like so and so, it is not growing and etc” instead of getting upset I just simply say “edges looking gone u might wanna tone down the weave”

  14. Jalona Moore via Facebook says:

    As a foster care worker we see this quite a bit. Black foster parents with white kids n white foster parents with black kids. We have started to try and get professionals to come to our classes to educate our parents on hair care. I feel like people gey out of line with unsolicited advice and assumptions. I don’t think I could’ve been so calm with the cashier. I love the way that lil girl’s afro looks and being that her hair has grown and looks full is proof she’s doing something well and correctly.

  15. That cashier was incredibly rude and condescending. I would’ve spoken to her manager after telling her about herself. Secondly, their kids for crying out loud. Who has time to make sure your kids hair is perfect at every waking hour to please strangers?!?

  16. Brittany Jackson via Facebook says:

    There’s a difference between insulting someone and engaging them in something. All black women talk about hair, and we all talk about doing little girls hair. It seems to be a trend to say things to a white mom with a black child that you wouldn’t say to a black mom. If she would’ve pulled back and slapped you like dolemite she would have been wrong.

  17. And what’s with black women approaching white women with black babies and trying to read them about their child, but won’t say a word to sorry excuse hood rat mothers who have their kids looking a snot nosed mess while they look fresh to death…

  18. This article is RIGHT, women need to stop doing this to white women/white moms of mixed or black kids. That said she could have told that woman to mind her business! Right there, right then.

  19. My kids wore a variety of natural hair styles; locks, cornrows, Afros. As my boys could hardly ever bear to sit still most of the time they went about with their wonderful hair wild and free. I felt sorry for when my mother-in-law (she’s white) took them somewhere because I knew some black woman would say shit to her or glare her down about the ‘state’ of their hair. SMH

  20. Schrese Becnel via Facebook says:

    I would’ve flat out asked her, and every other woman, what makes them qualified to critique hair when they themselves seem to always have someone else doing it, don’t know how to manage their own hair, and probably aren’t even wearing their own hair to begin with….

  21. Chasidy Madison via Facebook says:

    My white friends with mixed daughters always ask me for advice about their daughters hair. I really admire them bc they want this intimacy with their daughters (any mother does). The funny thing is….. I don’t know how to do hair. I try and practice on my nieces and they hate me for it LOL. I barely know what to do with my own natural hair. Mostly, I wear it in a bun. The only advice I give them is to keep it moisturized, NOT OILY, but moisturized. This is the only thing I’ve found that works for my hair. As far as styling….. no clue period. In saying this, I do believe that a mother of any race, should WANT to know more about their child’s appearance. After all, a child is a representative of the care they receive. As far as styled hair, not everyone knows how to style; however, if your child’s hair is unhealthy (dry, brittle, damaged, etc.), then I believe the parent is responsible for educating themselves.

  22. Dee Woods via Facebook says:

    I have been guilty of this! But I always try to encourage them because we know how difficult it is! What reaction would a white woman get if she called out a black woman every time her daughters hair looks a hotmess, yet her hair is on point! Great ready!

  23. It’s the fact that the hair is ‘out’ that angers other black people so. No one says shit! to moms of little white girls who have their hair out with just a headband. But something about seeing a little black girl with a similar style makes certain black folks see red. It’s shameful that they hate the hair texture of their own people!

  24. It’s the fact that the hair is ‘out’ that angers other black people so. No one says shit! to moms of little white girls who have their hair out with just a headband. But something about seeing a little black girl with a similar style makes certain black folks see red. It’s shameful that they hate the hair texture of their own people!

  25. Chasidy Madison via Facebook says:

    @trula, I agree that many of us don’t like our own natural hair and that’s why some feel the need to “school” other women who have daughters with natural hair.

  26. Chasidy Madison via Facebook says:

    @trula, I agree that many of us don’t like our own natural hair and that’s why some feel the need to “school” other women who have daughters with natural hair.

  27. Wow, wow. It would really take the move of God to hold my tongue every time cause I would be tempted to read them and their weave as well. I know that makes the mom feel a certain kind of way about black women and I don’t blame her.

  28. Francine Brown via Facebook says:

    rude people!

  29. Francine Brown via Facebook says:

    rude people!

  30. Sash Dee via Facebook says:

    What a great way to give the little girl a complex about her hair! kmt, that mother is good because anyone trying to chip away at my daughter would not get away so lightly!.. but I also see the other point of being a role model.. Sorry this happens!

  31. Sash Dee via Facebook says:

    What a great way to give the little girl a complex about her hair! kmt, that mother is good because anyone trying to chip away at my daughter would not get away so lightly!.. but I also see the other point of being a role model.. Sorry this happens!

  32. Darlene Graham via Facebook says:

    I suppose if you needed hair help…. you would ask. Til then back off

  33. Darlene Graham via Facebook says:

    I suppose if you needed hair help…. you would ask. Til then back off

  34. Wow, people can’t just say anything in front of a child! Children are impressionable and I’m sure these rude comments while she is wearing a fro are having an impact on her. Also, these people are super bold. I’ve never felt comfortable enough to address a stranger about their or their child’s appearance.

  35. Leah Marie via Facebook says:

    Growing up with a white mother, I can definitely relate to some of this. Some people are so judgmental about what white mothers chose to do with their black child’s hair, as if their ability to do twists is a statement on their overall ability to properly parent a child of a different race.

    I think the author hit the nail on the head when she said that it’s often not neglect, but rather what looks good to a white mom is very different than what looks good to a black mom. A lot of white women love black hair in its loose, natural state, so they don’t feel like it always needs to be braided or twisted to look cute. I tend to agree. I like the little girl’s fro. Maybe all this criticism says more about the hangups of the women saying it than about the parent receiving it.

  36. I experienced this yesterday and I’m black. My mother in-law had the nerve to make a big deal that my daughter hair was in an afro. My daughter usually wears pony tails but yesterday I felt she needed a break. So she was like “Oh….you are wearing your hair like your mom ‘s today huh.” Mind you my daughter is two. I just blew it off because if you want to be ignorant then you do that. I wasn’t going to let her still my joy. I guess when she thought about her ignorance, she called to apologize. It makes me sick that a lot of black woman are so judgmental about hair.

  37. Tonya Hardie via Facebook says:

    well spoken…!

  38. I don’t think they’re attacking you because you’e a “White” parent. they’re attacking you because you dared to let her hair be free. that’s why it primarily happens when her hair is in an Afro. trust me if you’re a “Black” woman and walked outside like that the same thing would happen. ignore them. I remember when I first went natural there were quite a few times I wanted to cry because I could hear, see, and or was attacked about my hair being the way it was. OR if the people did like my hair they’d say “you have “good hair” why didn’t you do this before?”. so trust me, it’s not you. it’s “Black” people as a whole taking their insecurities and placing them on you. but things are starting to look up in our community. people are starting to accept themselves and how God made them… so keep your head up. all smiles 🙂

  39. Ronda Prescott via Facebook says:

    That cashier was extremely ignorant acting and uneducated in the matter. Ignorance is not bliss and she did waaaaay too much assuming about that matter. To that mother do you, LOVE your child and continue doing what you’ve been doing to care for your child. Ignore unhelpful and unsolicited comments about her hair.

  40. MichelleFord says:

    Absolutely innapropriate to make such comments to stranger & to address your child is crazy. I give you cud is for learning how to care for her hair, however, would you leave the house with your hair looking a hot mess? It’s your responsibility to take appropriate care of your child hair and with p,a nine and consistency her hair will be and look healthy. I would have cussed that cashier out and asked to speak to her manager, but I doubt these women, though inappropriate, are all coming from a bad place and our concerned with the ridicule she will face once she interacts with black children of her own age. All that said she’s your child and you do what you feel is best for her.

  41. Kyilea Griffin via Facebook says:

    My own mother has asked me….”When are you going to do your hair?” and I thought I was high stepping that day. My girlfriend had a white man tell her how gorgeous her hair looked but when it gets to people who don’t understand about their hair, it’s “Not Done” Pisses me off….I’m NOT gonna lie!

  42. Kyilea Griffin via Facebook says:

    @Rhonda Prescott…..if that would have been said to me I surely would’ve approached the Target manager because that was inappropriate on MANY levels. Just a shame!

  43. Demie Lu via Facebook says:

    Just plain rude…out of line…unnecessary…SMH I learned you don’t “fix” hair…You just give it TLC and let it be!

  44. JamilahLemieux says:

    I sympathize with the writer and I am horrified at some of the things people feel emboldened to say to her. However, I am terribly offended by the blogger (and some of the commenters) who stated “African American woman can be habitual line-steppers.” Excuse me? People of all races can be habitual line-steppers. I have had crazy things said to me by Black me, White men, White women…please stop being so quick to dog your own sisters out, sheesh. This woman lives in Tennessee. I bet if she lived in an urban sprawl where natural hair is the norm, things would be quite different.

  45. karnythia says:

    Got to say if that pic of her Afro is accurate I don’t think this is just about braids. There’s definitely a lot to be said in terms of being polite & couching things diplomatically. But…that baby’s hair looks dry as straw & in need of detangling in that Afro pic. Just because it isn’t in twists or braids doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require care. And yes Tennessee is the land of the weave shop so there will be some extra special comments. Big whoop. When she decided to adopt a child of color she signed up for a lot of things that she hasn’t even experienced yet. If her biggest issue is offers to do that baby’s hair? Now might be a good time to take a deep breath, have a coke & a smile & STFU.

  46. I don’t even know where to begin.  This is beyond relaxed vs natural.  We are NOT the authority, we do not have the right to force our opinions on anyone.  One day we will learn to respect each other, embrace our natural hair without all the issues and not judge people that continue to wear chemicals.  If that woman wanted to let her daughter walk around with an afro for a week, it’s her prerogative.

  47. beutflpearl says:

    It appears this white woman has found a whole new way to attack black women. Now we are busy bodies with hair issues. I notice you point out that your daughter is African and the women who comment are black. Are black women not African enough for you?

    1. Her daughter is from AFRICA. As is born in Africa.

  48. Clarisse45 says:

    My views are a little different. If she doesn’t want to be criticized by black women maybe she should have thought about adopting a white baby, are there not anymore of them in need of a good home? White people get on my nerve with this foolishness and then want sympathy because they are not fully prepared culturally to give black children what they need. Think of the life outside the house that child will have. She is complaining about someone checking her because a black baby looks a hot mess, well think of the scars that child will have because they are raised in a white family. Sorry, but I have no sympathy, there were plenty of white children that need to be adopted that wont need a therapist later in life, more than likely like her child will.

    1. WhineyLenee says:

      @Clarisse45 Who are you to say white people should not adopt black children? I think it is absolutely wonderful and I encourage more. People raised in different cultures tend to be a lot more open-minded and understanding, also they view different people and races a lot more equally than someone raised in a homogenous family. People are all people so different races should NOT matter when raising someone as long as that child is taken care of and loved which many children in Africa do not get until white people adopt them. The last thing they will need is therapy, I think you need therapy if you cannot see that. You are advocating segregation, you are saying someone will need therapy if they are not segregated in the family structure. 
       
      This is really sad especially considering that you are probably a black women and what you want is no different than what black people fought so hard against not so long ago. And it is the same thing, in case you think it is not.

    2. Can you let your racism and ignorance burn any brighter?

  49. TyrikaWilliamsLmt says:

    I would guess that most of the women that have approached this mother do mean well. Maybe that’s just the optimism in me. The women that she mentioned addressed her daughter directly was completely out of line and frankly, in the mother’s shoes I would have cut that conversation right at that point. My question to the mother though is, how would she prefer women approach her. It’s clear she realized there was a problem because she took it upon herself to learn how to do the daughter’s hair. She wouldn’t have realized that if she hadn’t been receiving feedback. While the feedback wasn’t always presented in an appropriate manner, the underlying facts were true. So, how would she rather be approached? This is what she fails to mention in her letter.

  50. CarolELong says:

    i remember when i first went natural in the 70s and my grandmother said ” o Lawd she done gone radical!, I HAVE BEEN THROUGH MANY HAIR STYLES! Some by my choiceome by the choice of boyfriends, braids, pressing, perms, long short, the only thing i haven’t tried is bald, now i am living natural with my locs, loving it and I recognise that hair of black women is still a powder keg…I had to learn how to braid my daughters hair, and then had to learn that they had to learn what they wanted to do with their hair, and learn how to do their own hair and i also got criticism about their natual hair, their braids, you just have to do you tell others mind their own biz and keep living

  51. ShannMarie11 says:

    Black people are completely ridiculous! You would rather a child be left orphaned than to have a white mother and your only “reasonable” explanation is “hair” and culture confusion. GIVE ME A BREAK! No one has the right to give this woman or any other white mother any unsolicited advice about her child.

  52. SassyStephB says:

    I don’t have a problem with White Americans  adopting black children. I just wish they’s adopt black american children. They need families too. African American Children are the least likely to be adopted and that makes me sad. But that’s all i’m saying on that.

    1. How many have you adopted?

  53. SassyStephB says:

    I don’t have a problem with White Americans  adopting black children. I just wish they’s adopt black american children. They need families too. African American Children are the least likely to be adopted and that makes me sad. But that’s all i’m saying on that.

  54. Brerlou L King says:

    Little Gabby Douglas who won two gold medals at the last Olympics was criticized for the way she wore her hair, of all things, and her mother isn’t even white. Sorry, lady, you have to get accept that conversations and criticisms about hair is viewed as a valid topic between strangers among black women, like the weather in Britain.  It’s not YOU, it’s a custom.

  55. LeahAshton says:

    i think that these women should just keep their mouths closed. I’m African american and my daughter has pretty hair. its short and very curly, but to anyone that doesn’t know her or me they tend to think i am being lazy. no I am by no means lazy with her hair. It makes me mad when other mothers do that. i don’t have the money to go to a salon, so i do it my self. I feel bad for this mom. Her color has nothing to do with styling her daughters hair. She is doing a good job, people should think about how their words make the child feel.

  56. imjustsayindamn says:

    Unsolicited advice is never welcomed no matter who it comes from, but these people are rude and disrespectful.  You have a beautiful daughter and I lover her afro – very cute.  Please raise your daughter as to be a proud woman who just happens to be african/black.
    <a href=”http://www.imjustsayindamn.blogspot.com/p/archives.html”>Jae Mac, I’m Just Sayin’…(Damn!)</a>

  57. If I had a penny everytime a white person stepped out of their lane and commented about my fill-in-the-blank, I’d be f-ing rich so let’s not make this a Black women need to stay in their place issue. You have opened your home to a child in need of a loving home; that is wonderful…..So, maybe for the first time in your life, race has slapped you in the face. Sorry, but get over it. Welcome to my world where I have to let people know that neither I nor my children live in a petting zoo way too often, where I have to tell people “yes, I do wash my locks”, where I have to defend why I don’t have to wash my hair everyday, and the list goes on. The delivery should be better-people shouldn’t be rude-but know that many African Americans were raised in a “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality and would call you out regardless of race to help save that child from having to deal with not feeling beautiful.

  58. I’m confused by the amount of people who want you to “fix” Naomi’s hair. Like most unsolicited comments, I’d say pay no attention to them (the conversation with the cashier who asked your child how you do her hair? No. Unacceptable.) Be confident. You have learned about your daughter’s hair and you have your reasons for when it’s “undone.” If every black woman wore a braided style, if every child had to have her hair braided in order to fit into this seemingly made up place where everyone is coiffed to the perfection of others we’d be a pretty boring class of folk. I wash my hair and keep on moving. I’m sure I may look undone to many people. It’s not their concern and I try my best to remind myself of that.

  59. I read the comments and honestly I’m flabbergasted at some of the comments that attacked this woman, criticizing her for adopting a black baby instead of a white one, criticizing her for feeling sensitive when obnoxious biatches interfere with a basic shopping trip, criticizing her for actually voicing how she feels, telling her to “get over it”. Would YOU get over it if everyone and their mama walked up to you and commented on whatever about your parenting methodologies? I think Y’ALL need to have a coke and a smile and STFU. I applaud ANYONE who’s willing to step out of their comfort zone for the sake of love of a child.

  60. The only thing I don’t like about this article is that Black women are being grouped into one category, “Dear ALL Black women, stop talking to me about my daughter’s hair.” I am offended in reading that title and some of the statements made in the article “Black women can be some SERIOUS/HABITUAL line steppers.” It is saddening that a website that is supposed to uplift Black women, encourages and feeds the stereotypes about them. The woman in this article should talk about her experience rather than make a generalized statement. I’m sure Black women aren’t the only race who desire to come up and talk to her about her daughter’s hair. There’s probably even White women who want to talk to her about it. And when you adopt a child of another race, people are going to make certain statements to you, this is what comes with it. I’m sure White women who adopt Asian babies get a lot of flack over something.

  61. I have to cosign with gon2013. This is about more than hair: this is about race relationships. For someone who grew up not having to think about race, it is probably a huge shock to suddenly have so many people of color in her business. But when she invited a black child into her home (make no mistake: I am happy she adopted) it meant that she is no interacting with the black community on a level that she never experienced before. The “village” perspective is inherent in black communities. It’s not unusual for ppl to check your child if they are acting a fool or even discussing hair with strangers on the street. For someone unfamiliar with this territory of course it seems overwhelming The number of times she writes, “you wouldn’t believe how often…” clues us in that she sees this as an abnormal thing. Or perhaps singling her out. But this is a part of our culture. And even the need to explain spending hours of hairstyling as bonding time–umm, yeah, that’s how we roll. This isn’t anything new. The cashier was out of order, no doubt, but comparison to Angelina Jolie –nah, AJ was neglecting Z’s hair on a REGULAR basis. But honestly, if this woman is doing her hair or not, having a black daughter connects her to the community through a level of interaction she needs to understand is going to be way more up close and verrrry personal than she ever experienced before. SHE entered THIS world when she adopted that girl and this is how we interact with each other. (except the rudeness–she shoulda checked cashier chick!!)

  62. I think she is justified to feel the way that she does. Telling her to “get over it” isn’t the best way to deal with the issue at hand. Saying that she should have foreseen this prior to adopting a child of another race isn’t the best way to deal with the issue either. We must remember that Naomi’s mother is of an entirely different culture. She was raised differently and treated differently for most of her life. Numerous black women telling her how to care for her daughter, and assuming that she doesn’t know what she’s doing because her hair is in an afro is hurtful–to anyone, not just a white woman. And let’s examine this: why do these women believe that a simple, beautiful, and easy-going afro is not as gorgeous as a braided style? Why do these women feel comfortable telling a mother that she doesn’t know how to raise her own child? Why in the world do we, as black women, feel that she, as a white woman, would suddenly understand the relationship black women share with their hair through a child she adopted at 2 and a half years old? Read the article again. This woman isn’t necessarily complaining. She’s relaying her experiences with black women as a white woman with a black child. Instead of being critical, be hopeful. Accounts such as these ensure that interracial adoptions will be more understood in America. Remember, this was only 2013–the Civil rights movement was in 1964. Understanding other cultures and races takes time, and open minds.

  63. People fail to realize hair is such a trivial thing be glad the child has a home and a family that loves her and she is being cared for. I know I am not parent material I’m debating seriously if I am pet parent material but if they are so worried about the black kids in white care why not go and adopt those black kids

  64. All you need is a little bold just like theirs and tell them that you CAN take care of your own business. Everybody does not have to fix their little girl’s hair the same. She is beautiful however you decide ti fix it and you two can have fun as she learns to fix it herself. Yes I am a black mother with a black daughter who fixed her own hair since she was age 11.

  65. Some people do not have any coof about themselves. Yes African American will have comments about the afro style because to them it is a form of neglect. It’s unfortunate they are so rude about it though. When I see people struggling with their hair, African American or not I offer to help them if they want. I specialize in natural hair and enjoy showing people the versatility of their hair. Dealing with the comments people have about her hair is going to be an on-going battle. It’s good that you are at least trying.

  66. I agree. Hair is a cultural thing but the rudeness is not. This is something that she has to get used to and not be offended by it.

  67. Mrs.davis.familync@gmail.com says:

    My half white cousin is depressed and suicidal because no one at her school likes her hair due to her mom being white and not having the patience to properly tame and take care of my cousins hair.

    I’m saying this to say children are cruel no matter if they were taught this behavior or adapted it elsewhere and there is no way my cousin who is 15 should feel this way…. And it’s by white children.

    If her mother was even an ounce of the lady in this article I do not believe my cousin would’ve been going through these issues…. So I took on the initiative to teach my cousin how to care for her kinky hair. No girl should ever feel Unpretty meanwhile her wealthy mom gets her hair done and highlighted… And had my cousin walking around with a sweatband headband mostly her whole life.

    So if you’re going to take on the challenge of having a child of color please by all means learn how to do BLACK hair.

    YouTube has everything you’ll need.

    And any black woman who can’t do black hair…. Shame on you! And you know why!

    #teamkinkynatural

  68. Ok.she posted her story,but why,and I’m not the only person who noticed this did she have to say she was a republican.what did that have to do with her story.I don’t understand,I thought she was talking about her child hair and how she needed to learn to take care of it.and the truth of the matter is,why do she care who says what.tell them how you really feel,don’t just stand there and take it and then go home and write a sad a$$ story about it.how do she suppose to teach her child how to stand up for her self (without fighting)if she can’t do it her self.BUT like I said before what does bring a republican have to do with hair.but didn’t nobody but about one person on here notice that.

  69. Jacqueline says:

    White mom here, raising a mixed daughter. I’ve experienced some rude comments and criticism from strangers regarding my daughter’s hair….a few of those comments have hurt and confused my daughter as to why a stranger would say she doesn’t look “right”. But after 5 years I believe I’ve experienced more support and kind words from random black women than harsh ones. A few women have even asked me for the name of the products I use in my daughter’s 3B curls… and I’m glad to share and chat about adventures in hair care.
    But I believe the most important thing in any of these exchanges is not that my ego is protected, but that my daughter is never made to feel as if the natural texture of her hair is in any way “less than”. Women of all races carry a burden of feelings of ugliness, body shaming and physical inadequacy. And so much of that self-hate begins at a young age. My job, as mother to my daughter, is to make sure a random conversation in Target never makes my daughter question her inherent value and beauty. She needs to know that she is beautiful whether she is rocking picture-perfect ringlets, or a bit messy after leaving gymnastics.

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