THE CHRIS ROCK FILM “GOOD HAIR DAY” WAS AN EYE OPENER.(www.youtube.com)I knew about the film and was reminded at a recent focus group and from an article in The Voice newspaper – Do Black women care more about their hair than their health.(www.voice-online.co.uk) In the film Chris Rock explores the world of hair and the black culture around it. As the journey unfolded I thought – real human hair, given freely by people at religious events in countries like India is sold on. Then black women are paying hundreds and even thousands of pounds or dollars for it to be added to their hair. That amazes and saddens me in a way. And the fact is that if the hair was from a black person, they would turn it away. But you are wearing human hair that once hung out on someone else’s head. There are only four Black owned hair companies in the U.S. it emerged during the film. All this money spent by the Black community is going to enrich Chinese companies.
Some of the men interviewed were talking about not being able to touch their partner’s hair. She (or he) spent so much on that style and you can’t mess with that. But in those hair styles I could see so much creativity and power.

The view of The Washington Memorial from The Lincoln Memorial, Washington.
Taken in 2004.(c Keith Stewart.)
Hearing President Obama talk about Martin Luther King Jr and his work and THAT speech made me smile. He calls King one of his heroes. King,the man who ensured the battle for civil rights was non-violent. A man who dreamt of there one day being a Black President. And here we have that President planning to attack Syria; who has deported more people than Bush; who sends drones to blow up his enemies (no trial needed) and hasn’t gained many air miles from travelling to Africa.
In a BBC news article it was beautiful to hear a young black boy saying how grateful he was for the work done by those who came before him. He was saying that he was going to make the most of the opportunities they opened. Proudly and with confidence he will march through that door of aspiration they left open.
Whenever I attend Black led events in the U.K. I hear so many Black people talking about what is wrong with Black people and the community. Why Black people aren’t this, that or the other. How we don’t have a Black leader. We need a Black T.V. station But they seem to be doing nothing about it. They are able to wax lyrically and run down their community and therefore themselves. In many ways we are replaying the racist’s dream. We are continuously living out for the master the basic goals of slavery. Divide and conquer. Teach the slave to own their lack of worth. Then reinforce that at every move, so the enslaved can do it for themselves.
I am going armed next time – www.greatblackbritons.com – a site with great examples of Black British achievers.
At some point I have to say – that’s part of my history but it is not my identity now. It is not all of who I am. Most of all I won’t let it define me now.
MAHATMA GHANDI (1869-1948).