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Memories of Growing Up with Black Hair

Memories of Growing Up with Black Girl Hair

By Kelly Wickham Hurst

Can we all just stop and appreciate this father for a moment for raising this generous daughter and loving on her in the most intimate of ways?

I needed this today.

Mom used to take me to her (mostly white) salons as a kid and they messed up my hair something fierce. It looks silky and smooth when it’s wet but then they’d cut it and it would be nearly double the cut of what they thought. They didn’t understand the pull or bounce of my hair. I would cry nearly every single time and the hairdresser would apologize and tell my mom, “No charge. I’m sorry.”

Dad started doing my hair after that. He added grease to it (Ultra Sheen original formula in the blue container) and picked it out into an afro or enlisted the neighborhood girls to braid it to which I admit here that I AM SO TENDERHEADED IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY.

This actually caused my parents to argue because mom was mad no one helped her understand my hair and dad was a businessman who didn’t have time to listen to her complaints AND do my hair.

Anyway.Hair, people. It’s political and personal and this little girl is getting and giving life here with her encouragement of her father happily spending time and lovingly doing her hair.

 

About the Author

Kelly Wickham Hurst

Being Black at School

Kelly Wickham Hurst is a social activist who does that work as an educator, as a writer, and as a speaker. After 23 years in the public education system as a teacher, literacy coach, guidance dean...

Kelly Wickham Hurst is a social activist who does that work as an educator, as a writer, and as a speaker. After 23 years in the public education system as a teacher, literacy coach, guidance dean, and assistant principal she launched Being Black at School, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide resources for both parents and educators, as well as the Black students themselves, about how they fit into American public education as a system.  Kelly has a combined family that includes 6 adult offspring. Her writing has appeared in Yahoo!, Huffington Post, TueNight and she’s been a guest on NPR. You can follow Kelly at her personal blog Mocha Momma and on Twitter at @mochamomma.

 

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