What are the effects of ’Good Hair/Bad Hair’ Talk On So-Called African American Children?

by Zaqqiyah Haamidah

Today Minister Karriem Al-Ghani answered this question during his second talk in the Black History Month/Black Holocaust Commemoration lecture series.

Minister Al-Ghani began by recalling his life as a young boy hearing women in his family speak to their daughters about their hair.

The conversation went something like, ‘Girl, sit still and let me do something with your nappy hair’.  Although it is not said outright to them, Minister Al-Ghani stated that girls get a negative feeling about their hair and appearance from their mothers.

A study conducted by social scientist and educator, Kenneth Clark, in the 1940s was referenced. In the study, Black children were asked to choose the prettier doll between Caucasian and Black dolls.  The children unanimously chose Caucasian dolls as better.

Minister Al-Ghani stated that through their experiences, children learn how to think about themselves. Negative messages from American society linger from plantation slavery (Willie Lynch Syndrome); however, reinforcement in home settings also perpetuates the negative self-image some Black people hold of themselves.

Minister Al-Ghani stated that unless “African Americans” learn how Black people came upon their physical appearance, we will continue to suffer from negative self-images.

When Master Fard Muhammad (who brought “African Americans” the knowledge of themselves) found “African American” people here in North America, we were a disheveled people mentally, physically and spiritually.

It took the help of Messenger Elijah Muhammad (peace by upon him), and now the guidance of Silis Muhammad, to administer solutions that reverse negative self-image and other problems that plague Black people as a result of the lingering effects of plantation slavery.

Join us next Sunday when Minister Karriem Al-Ghani delivers his next talk at one of Houston’s premier Black events.

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