Tuesday, August 04, 2009

NPR: Nappy Headed Hoes? This is all we need...




Michel Martin covered this on NPR's Tell Me More today. It wasn't the usual "Mocha Mom" session (my Georgetown colleague Asra Nomani was on one day--so I guess it was "curry" moms, too). One of the panelists was Teresa Wiltz at the Root . She was speaking some sense. Yet another mom noted that she put this out on Facebook and many women and quite a few men (fathers?) came back at her saying it was NBD. "My momma used to smack me in the head with the brush." Or, perhaps the little girl was rambunctiuous and needed to stop clowning? I know about rambunctiousness, trust...
How about this interpretation, if I may insert my bourgie, straight-haired sensibilities, thank you: this has smack to do with good hair/bad hair, cultural debates and sociological trope. It is nothing more than some coarse bamma who doesn't appear to have a clue about dealing with her kid on a meaningful level. She clearly doesn't know how to even comb it properly; note her technique, fanboys & girls. And then there's the fact that someone's operating the video camera. A sibling, doubtless made demented by momma.
I am in my forties. I have seen and heard everything. In my family, my wife's we have a RANGE of hair textures. I have never seen anything like this, even in personal folklore. What comes close are crazy episodes observed, remembered or told of. Yet in such moments of hair drama, the mother either stops, chills the child out, or moves to a different technique. Of course, I'm talking about non-bamma women and girls here. Not necessary upper or middle class...but women with class. And that, people, is key is here. Not hair.

23 comments:

rikyrah said...

that's sort of scary, because it's obvious they don't know how to take care of their natural hair.

Pebbles Flinstone said...

Well nat, thanks for sharing this. This mother is obviously some sort of freak. She totally looked like she enjoyed torturing her little girl like that (at one point -- she was smiling). Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that children can sometimes challenge you. However, this looked like torture. She should have calmed her down, chilled her out and changed techniques (as you pointed out). I can't imagine that she treats them any differently at bed time or dinner time either.

Lina said...

I am SO LOATHE to agree with you because you can get very elitist, but here, I have to.

KRStyle said...

If I came home and saw something like that going on, SOMEBODY would be put in time out....and it wouldn't be my daughter.

Tafari said...

This is child abuse. And she does look like she was hell bent on harming her. Wow!

mb-j said...

I'll be the first to admit I'm not the best when it comes to styling my own two daughters' hair. I've honestly worried that someone might call CPS on me for simply not being able to do hair that well, hard as I try. But that woman is really bad with the brush. Bad meaning bad. Even I can see that.

And yes, I agree that it is a class issue. But by and large, most bamma moms have bourgie moms like me beat at hairstyling. Hands down. And I'm sure most of them handle and speak to their kids more gently than this while doing it.

I hope.

Lisa said...

The issue is "class" but not economic class or education, I agree. I know plenty of professionals who are just as rude and foolish. If you have the class and composure do your daughter's hair without this drama, it can be done. If you don't have the heart, the emotional maturity, intellectual or social tools to raise and nuture your child, this type of behavill result.

msladydeborah said...

I saw this video already. The mother made me so very angry! She doesn't know how to handle her daughter's hair. That's obvious by the way that she is brushing it out.

If she lived in my home state-the language that she used is grounds for a case of child abuse to be brought up against her. Popping her with the brush is also considered a crime.

This isn't funny. It is a sad visual statement about a parent that doesn't have skills.

Ochyming said...

Pure EVIL.

This is child abuse.
Indeed!

Anonymous said...

As someone whose family is from the South I have to say I don't appreciate the 'bammma' reference. Ignorance is not exclusive to a region, country, or continent. The video is a disgrace and quite frankly I only got through 45 seconds of it and won't continue the absurdity by passing it along. That is the level we should be trying to reach if we really want to label ourselves as being above such behavior.

Ochyming said...

@ Anonymous


Ignoring wrong doing helps not the victims.

Monica said...

What is on display is what so many little black girls have to endure. Was the mother extreme is her methods? Yes. Was it abuse? I don't know.

Is putting lye on the hair of a 3 or 4 year old abuse?

Is using a hot metal to straighten a baby's hair abuse?

How many of us can remember burns on our necks, ears and foreheads? Were we abused because our mother's didn't know how to properly care for our hair?

Anonymous said...

Bamma has now transcended the geographic reference. There can be Bammas in Boston.

This bamma was apparently from Detroit area?

Anonymous said...

SoCal 82 Tiger Says:
Nat - Whether you call them
"Bammsas" or "White Trash" it's all the same to me. People you should pity and shun having no other way to say to themselves and the rest of us: "Look here at me I Am Special"!

Thanks to U-Tube who needs to tune into Springer, Maury, or Judge Roy Brown to see the worst of every class and color in our country?

eisa said...

i can't even watch this. i got to 27 seconds and had to stop. i just want to... ok, i better not type what this video makes me want to do to the woman TORTURING her daughter. this, you are correct, chris, has nothing to do with hair. this is abuse.

please see my article on thedenfedersonline, "Mamma, Don't Be So Mean: A Look at Black Parenting Today" - http://www.thedefendersonline.com/2009/06/16/mama-don%E2%80%99t-be-so-mean-a-look-at-black-parenting-today/

the madness has to stop.

Anonymous said...

As the mother of a girl, with very long, very thick, all natural hair, I have to say, this was extreme. I think she was trying to make her daughters hair into an afro, hence the brushing it out like that, but if you gotta sit on your child to do their hair, find another hair style.

It takes me, approximately 2 hours to wash, detangle, comb, brush and style my daughters hair, and I know all about the drama and extremes and histronics. Some of it is that.

If you have never had to the hair of a squirming or tired or just plain dramatic two year old with a ridiculous amount of hair, please don't be so quick to pass judgement.

Ochyming said...

Monica

I guess whose ego to please.
… Not the child's for sure!

Bernice L. McFadden said...

*head in my hands*

LaJane Galt said...

This lady is abusive and hateful.

I detect some envy of the child's hair too.

Hathor said...

She should cut it. In our warped world of hair, nappy hair is preferable to no hair ala Alek Wek.

Sunflower Jones said...

This is incredibly disturbing. Its most assuredly child abuse and I wonder if the mother doesn't have some undiagnosed mental issues. In reference to Anonymous' comment about passing judgement, the woman was using the F word with her daughter, said she "looked like a slave" and at one point I swear I saw a smirk on her face. This is NOT normal nor should anyone feel sympathy for her for having to deal with the child's thick hair.

Anonymous said...

This is child abuse.

That little girl has a beautiful head of hair that her Mama obviously does not know how to care for.

Damn shame.

P.S. And I could be wrong, but isn't Mama wearing a weave? If so, she's probably jealous of her daughers hair.

lilkunta said...

chris : Those who say that this "vid is NBD" r WRONG. This is indeed a big deal. I dont think it is child abuse but it is mean & wrong. Every1 knows
-mom should be using a wide teeth comb
-part the hair into sections
-comb from the ends to the root.

The mom is very wrong for her cursing @ her daug! I didnt hear it myself but apparently she calls her daugh a slave? WTF ? I think mom is also being mean bc of hair envy. Notice she has a weave/wig on.