Wednesday, May 8, 2013

For White People Who Adopt Black Babies

I was walking through the local farmer's market this past weekend and I spotted a white couple with the currently trendy black adopted child from Africa. Now, I have no problem with interracial adoption. A loving, caring parent of any race is better than no parent at all.

However, I do have a problem when white parents DO NOT take the time to learn about how to properly care for their child's kinky hair. This poor child's hair was matted, dry looking, had broken ends, and I am sure it has not ever been cared for properly since she left Africa. It took everything in me to NOT go over to the parents and beg them, "Please let me teach you how to do your child's hair." I hate when people give me unwanted advice about my hair, diet, and whatever else they see fit, so I just watched them from afar and prayed that one day they would be enlightened.

The child looked to be around age 5 or 6. I figured at that age kids are not really that cruel yet, however, pretty soon she would be getting older and if her hair continues to look a mess as it currently does, she has years of torment ahead of her.

For black kids (and black adults) hair is a very important part of their self-esteem and self image. It is the dream of many little black girls today to have hair swinging down their backs either from a fresh press or from the little beads that go on the ends of cornrows.   I don't know how many hours me and my friends spent doing each other's hair back in the day. We went through A LOT of  weave, gel, hair clips, and hair mags.

I am not white so I really don't know how important hair is to them. However, I suspect that they don't understand the significance of hair to us. I also know they don't know the amount of effort, products, or techniques it takes to maintain our hair. And this really is not a problem that only white people have. I know there are many black parents who don't know how to take care of their child's natural hair either, so they slap a perm in at 5 or 6 and the child's hair follicles are destroyed for the rest of their life. I had to ask myself why was I so compelled to reach out to speak with this white parent when I see way more black parents with children with jacked up hair. Hmmmmmm.

At any rate, there are some resources for white parents on how to care for their black child's kinky hair. There is a website Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Hair which was created by a white woman, for white people, on how to care for their black child's hair. It has a lot of great pics, and her daughter is very very adorable. It is a great resource for parents of all races to get inspiration for their child's hair. many large cities offer hair care classes specifically for white people who have black children. A quick google search brought up a few in places such as Chicago, DC, and even Sun Prarie, WI (wherever that is). So if you search the information is out there!

I hope it trickles down into the hands of the little girl's parents I saw this past weekend.

Do you all feel that it is "rude" for a black person to offer unsolicited advice to a white parent whose black child hair looks a mess? Would you do the same to a black parent whose child had damaged broken off relaxed hair?

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