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White Mother’s Opinion on Touching Daughter’s Natural Hair

Avatar • Sep 18, 2011

This article is re-posted from ChocolateHairVanillaCare.com. We’ve discussed the issue of “hair touching” before, but it’s great to hear a unique point of view. 

Dear People Who Have, or May, Come Into Contact with My Daughter,

Thank you so much for your interest in my daughter’s hair. Yes, it is beautiful, we both appreciate your compliments. Yes, she’s very patient and has no problem sitting to have her hair done. She’s been getting her hair done since she was very small and knows of nothing else; her hair regime is a fact of life and she doesn’t see it as the burden that you do. Nor do I.

While asking me about my daughter’s hair, please do not start touching it. Just because I am a vanilla parent this does not mean that you have an “in” to touch chocolate hair for the first time. I have had too many people tell me, “Oooh, I’ve always wondered what their hair felt like,” while pawing my daughter. She’s not an animal, she’s a human being.

We teach our children that strangers touching them in inappropriate ways is wrong and that they should tell an adult immediately. In our opinion, anytime a child is touched by anyone who feels that they have a right to do so, against the child’s wishes and without the child’s permission, is inappropriate.

You see, every chocolate/jam/cheetos handprint on her hair from other children and/or adults is a mark on her dignity. She is small, but she does have personal space and a sense of self-worth. When you invade that space without her permission you are telling her that she has no rights to her body; that her desire to be left untouched is not as important as your curiosity.

Even if your hands are clean, they still leave a an invisible mark.

If you are sweet and kind enough to ask my daughter ahead of time if you can touch her hair, please do not be offended if she says, “No.” She is not being rude. She has no obligation to give the answer that you want. Her body is her own and if she does not want to share it with you at that moment, then please respect her rights. Don’t tell me that she’s being “disobedient” or “rude” or huff and walk away. In doing so, you are indirectly communicating that she owes you a piece of herself for no other reason than because you asked. She does not.

No, I do not do unique hairstyles for my daughter to attract your attention. I do them for her, to help foster a loving relationship with her natural hair so that she will grow up loving how God made her, hopefully minimizing any desire to alter herself to match someone else’s standard of beauty. Do not tell me that if I didn’t want her touched that I shouldn’t be doing all these hairstyles that say “look at me, touch me.” Do not blame the victim for your indiscretion or lack of self control.

If you are a teacher, please note that the first day of school is often very intimidating and making a really big deal about hair – on that day, or any day – while inviting other teachers and/or parents to come over to touch and finger-through a child’s head of hair, can be extremely overwhelming. Yes, she may be one of the few chocolate children at your school, but drawing so much attention to her will only highlight how different she is. Although I can address the issue with you while I’m present, I put my trust in you that you will protect my daughter throughout the day. Allowing classmates to put their hands in her hair or play with her beads is not only distracting to the class, it is also akin to hitting; it is a violation of my daughter’s person and I have to believe that you will do your best to keep this from happening. Just because it might not physically hurt her, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt her character.

I remember back in the days of being pregnant and how it used to bother me when strangers would come and touch my belly without my permission. I know that people struggle with holding back when their curiosity gets the best of them, but nevertheless it seemed only right to me that someone should ask before placing their hand(s) on my stomach.

But I am an adult. I have already formed my identity and self-worth and can hopefully express my discontent in constructive ways. Children are still learning about themselves in the world. They are not as certain of themselves, and if you cross a line they will often question the line, not you.

In conclusion, I pray that this letter is well-received, that those who may have done this in the past feel convicted and think twice before doing it again. For those who have never experienced chocolate hair, may it be a helpful insight into our beautiful world. For people who have recently welcomed a child with chocolate hair for the first time into your extended family, may you respect the child’s personal space and be kind and gentle with your questions and curiosities. For all, please remember that you are helping to shape the character of the adults of tomorrow; if we cannot respect the bodies of our children today, how can we expect them to respect themselves in the future?

Blessings,

Rory, Boo’s Mama

For more of Rory’s writings check out ChocolateHairVanillaCare.com. Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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Melissa
Melissa
9 years ago

Cute little girl!

Jas
Jas
9 years ago

*picks up jaw* Oh my. I love it. I don’t know any other way to put it. It makes my heart smile.

babytmarie28
babytmarie28
9 years ago
Reply to  Jas

i agree!

naddie
naddie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jas

+1

Crystal
Crystal
9 years ago
Reply to  naddie

Yes!! 🙂 Wow!

June
June
9 years ago
Reply to  Jas

+ 1,000,000,000

JP23
JP23
9 years ago

YES!!!!!! I am so happy this little girl has someone to advocate for her! This woman is just awesome!

Marie
9 years ago

Love it! So well written & sincere. Both you and your daughter are beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Ashley
Ashley
9 years ago

I love this. It’s amazing to see that there are white women with black children that know how to take care of their childs hair AND respect the childs hair so much. Where I live, there are a lot of biracial kids (nearly anywhere anymore lol). Usually the kid will have a head full of matted hair or clearly damaged puffballs. Sometimes I want to snatch up the kid and throw some moisture in their hair. My brother-in-law does not know how to take care of my nephews hair and rejects what we try to do for his hair. If we put… Read more »

Carla
Carla
9 years ago

Thank you for writing this. Your daughter is so beautiful and its nice to see the care and attention you put into her. I love her hair and her sweater!

Engee
Engee
9 years ago

Okay besides the fact that this letter is just plain AWESOME and that the kid is overly cute… have any of you checked out the hairstyles the little girl rocks on the photo gallery?? The cutest/hottest/fiercest hairstyles!!

I definitely have stolen some ideas!!!!! just plain awesome.… Here is the link…

http://gallery.chocolatehairvanillacare.com/

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  Engee

+100

Mom is no joke-those styles are just wonderful!! And yes, lil Boo is toooooo cute.…awwww.…i’m in love:)

Big warm shout out to this loving family!!

sunshyne84
sunshyne84
9 years ago

Beautiful! This goes for any child or adult for that matter. Keep your hands to yourself is the first rule we learn in school any way.

sugarcoated
9 years ago

this letter is so touching. i have never been in support of people touching other people’s body just because you admire them

Shelli
9 years ago

Ditto to all of the comments!! This little girl is very lucky to have such a supportive mom and one who seems to have thoroughly trained herself on how to do her daughter’s hair. As someone said above, have you seen the styles she has done on Boo?!?! GORGEOUS!!

Audrey
Audrey
9 years ago

Oh my! I love this!

bee
bee
9 years ago

from a new mom’s perspective, especially one raising abiracial child. i loved this. i also loved her view of what a child is to the world. they are little people learning about themselves and how to operate in the world who deserve their share of dignity and respect, too often because they are children, people don’t think children deserve that level of respect as well but a child who is not respected does not learn self-respect when an adult. its great to know I am not alone in my thinking about children. and i am in admiration., 🙂

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  bee

Yes!! I agree 🙂

Rose Alexis
9 years ago

How lucky is this little black girl whose mum called her Boo! I punched a girl for callig me a boo and other racist names at primary school, lets hope she has better luck. And what’s all this about chocolate and vanilla, it might sound sweet to some people but to me these are racist terms. I’m no chocolate hair or anything else. I’m not sure this kid is being taught anything useful about herself or her black heritage. And when the hell did it become politically correct to use the term ‘nappy hair’ never mind printing it in big… Read more »

JL
JL
9 years ago
Reply to  Rose Alexis

oh dear, glass half empty instead of half full?

LBell
LBell
9 years ago
Reply to  Rose Alexis

The only thing I kinda-sorta agree with you on is the use of “chocolate” and “vanilla” when writing text meant for adults. Not sure where you’re from but “boo” has become a common term of endearment amongst black Americans. Usually it’s used for a significant other but still… Re the use of the word “nappy”: I know this is still an issue amongst some but I really don’t have a problem with it so long as it’s not being used in a derogatory fashion. If you’re referring to her product review of Happy Nappy Styles moisturizer…here’s a picture of the owners… Read more »

Nita
Nita
9 years ago
Reply to  LBell

My only thought is that you said a brochure should be given to non black parents who are adopting black or biracial children but everyone needs help when it comes to doing their childrens hair I have met and know may black parents who don’t know what or how to do their childrens hair and I have met many black parents who have a lack of self love and destroy their childrens self image and confidence by adding sinthetic hair to their childrens or by giving their children relaxers to straighten their hair way too early. I really didn’t read… Read more »

LBell
LBell
9 years ago
Reply to  Nita

When it comes to all parents, regardless of color, knowing how to do black children’s hair, I agree with you.

Most of my comment was in response to Rose Alexis’. The last part was in response to Rory (the mother above). I’m not sure exactly how much more positive you needed it to be. Perhaps you need to look up the meaning of “kudos”? Here, I’ll help (see definition to):

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kudos

Lin
Lin
9 years ago
Reply to  Rose Alexis

[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/1297529937403.jpg[/img]

Man, I seriously thought this was going to be a positive post, with us all fawning over a mother that really “gets it.”
Guess I’m expecting too much, huh?

bee
bee
9 years ago
Reply to  Lin

@LIN — I know! I agree with you. Here this lady takes the time to get to know her daughter’s heritage enough to learn how to do her hair which most non-black parents are NOT doing„ hell some black parents don’t even know enough about their own heritage to pass on to a child besides what pop culture throws their way I don’t think and instead of getting love she gets criticisms over silly things like the use of the term chocolate and vanilla. If she wants to call her kid chocolate and herself vanilla whats the big deal? Everyone… Read more »

cygnet
cygnet
9 years ago
Reply to  bee

Unless I miss my guess, Rose Alexis is from the U. K., not from the U. S. A. To her, “chocolate” and “Boo” carry the same impact as “nigger” and “coon” have to us when they come from the lips of a racially prejudiced non-black person. And some people just don’t like the word “nappy”, for the same reason. This particular post was about an American white woman and her black adoptive child. That being so, her use of the terms that set Rose Alexis off is consistent with how U. S. Americans use and understand them. She certainly didn’t… Read more »

bee
bee
9 years ago
Reply to  cygnet

@cygnet — first maybe you should follow your own advice and give rose alexis some credit since i’m sure she knows that terms of endearment differ across international/national lines and hopefully did not come to the conclusion that a negative term in her community can’t be used quite benignly elsewhere and vice versa(and second you are assuming I am not from UK myself and know what racist terms are therein used) furthermore she said the term chocolate sounds racist ‘to [her].’ i did not see where she said its a commonly-accepted general term used in her community to denigrate Blacks… Read more »

cygnet
cygnet
9 years ago
Reply to  bee

@bee: I generally strive for clarity whenever I communicate, and especially when I communicate in a medium such as this. Obviously I wasn’t clear enough for you, and I apologize for causing offense; that was not my intention. You say, “first maybe you should follow your own advice and give rose alexis some credit since i’m sure she knows that terms of endearment differ across international/national lines and hopefully did not come to the conclusion that a negative term in her community can’t be used quite benignly elsewhere and vice versa .…” First, I did give her credit. Go back, please, and… Read more »

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Rose Alexis

My daughter refers to me as “chocolate” at to herself as “caramel.” She refers to other friends and family using similar descriptors, including “vanilla” and “dark chocolate.” I refer to people to her using the same descriptors. I have no idea why anybody would think they are inappropriate.

Audrey
Audrey
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

+1

My sons call me dark brown, their daddy white and themselves light brown. They also called me chocolate, and call themselves “sugar” because they think sugar is light brown since we don’t use white sugar. I don’t have a problem with the language used at all.

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

I have no idea why anybody would think they are inappropriate.’

Because everyone doesn’t have the same mind?

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago

Standing ‘effing’ ovation! Just an amazing advocacy statement from a mother for her child, for all children that also applies to many adults, especially women. Beautiful girl and hairstyles on the site. This should be printed and memorized by other children and adults the world over. Just brava again!

Susan
Susan
9 years ago

The “chocolate hair” phrase is extremely annoying. However, I do agree with the overall context of the letter.

LOCALCELEB
9 years ago

My parents could have used some tips, as I was the “only” African American child in the city up through graduation. My mother tried, and had a few hits/misses as I would normally end up losing hair, after someone would convince her that I needed a straightening comb or perm.. My hair was touched probably every day I attended school, including high school, it was like this crazy fascination..they would never ask, they would just touch.. during class, track practice..whenever.. I wish I could have posted this letter in our school newsletter!

BlaqueInfinite
9 years ago

awww this was so loving!

Dolores
Dolores
9 years ago

Her website really has a WEALTH of information about good hair care practices. I do my own hair, but I don’t have children, but if I did, I think I would have to make some adjustments for my child’s hair routine. I appreciate her letter, website etc., but the chocolate/vanilla references are a little weird and it kinda makes me cringe. I’m not saying they are racist, just weird…

Giulia
Giulia
9 years ago

I clicked on the site link and the first ad I saw on the blog was…

Get permanent skin whitening”??

Talk about irony. *rolls eyes*

Yuupp
Yuupp
9 years ago
Reply to  Giulia

Ummm.… Are you sure you read that? She does have ads that are for for TEETH Whitening. Also depending on what ad systems they use, some bloggers do not have absolute control over what ads are featured because it’s like a random pick depending on the larger ad system— something like Google AdSense. I see many natural websites still advertising perms and other hair straighteners because of this. So seeing that she has a black child and has a blog that encourages her self esteem I highly doubt she believes in skin whitening or would accept the money. When she… Read more »

Carla
Carla
9 years ago
Reply to  Yuupp

I was just about to say that. When I ran a blog, it was a losing game chasing after certain inappropriate ads and manually blocking them in AdSense/AdWords.

Giulia
Giulia
9 years ago
Reply to  Yuupp

Oh, I didn’t say it was the blogger’s fault! I know very well bloggers don’t have much control over what gets publicized on their blog.
And it was definitely a SKIN whitening ad.

That said, the blog looks great. 🙂 (Just the ad made me cringe for a moment).

Dolores
Dolores
9 years ago

Another thing is that I wholeheartedly agree with her about respecting a child’s personal space (in general and not just in regards to hair). In my parents’ culture, it is respectful to embrace adults with a kiss on the cheek. I was a shy child; I didn’t like strangers, and I always hated greeting adults with a hug or a kiss. I really don’t think children should be directed to hug or embrace adults unless they want to. It’s the same for babies. At times, they don’t want to be held by anyone other than their parents. That’s why I… Read more »

df
df
9 years ago

wonderful mother…she knows she can’t empathize with her daughter but the love for that child has opened her eyes to something like this…one of the most invaluable things in this world is the pure love of a mother 🙂

Warren Parker
Warren Parker
9 years ago

You see, every chocolate/jam/cheetos handprint on her hair from other children and/or adults is a mark on her dignity. She is small, but she does have personal space and a sense of self-worth.”

Stated like a pro; I’d like to tell you, Rory, that this wisdom should be universal. She’s a person, not a dolly!

Jasmine
Jasmine
9 years ago

I know I’m developing a checkered reputation for being a gut checker in the BGLH comment box. But I don’t care. I SIDE EYE all the people who yelled racism and succubus when Liz — A BI-RACIAL WOMAN — said EXACTLY the same thing as this mother is saying!!! For evidence look through the comments here: http://bglhonline.com/2011/07/hi-im-liz-no-you-still-cant-touch-my-hair/ It is sad because I believe that black women’s self esteem is SO LOW that they can only believe/accept something if a WHITE PERSON says it. This amazing mother is saying what many naturals have been saying all along — that they DON’T like to… Read more »

Cat
Cat
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

The article you posted is not in the same context as this one. The mother in this letter is defending her daughter, a child. Liz in the other article is a grown woman facing another grown woman. In article, “Hi, I’m Liz. No, You Still Can’t Touch My Hair” I do not see where anyone in the *comments* said, “Oh, they’re just curious.” “Oh, they’ve never seen it before and we have to teach them.” “Oh, just give them a break, you’re being too scary and militant.” — they all defended Liz. I think you’re on the taking things out of… Read more »

Jasmine
Jasmine
9 years ago
Reply to  Cat

I’m sorry. I linked to the incorrect article. It should have been this one: http://bglhonline.com/2011/07/touching-natural-hair-without-permission-is-it-a-race-thing/

Oyan
Oyan
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

I agree with you Jasmine. I’ve seen similar responses and cringed.

naddie
naddie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

I for one have never thought it was okay. Being the person who has white co-workers who feel the need to try and make my hair poofier because it is too “straight” for them. I shouldn’t have to teach others to be respectful, I have my own child to teach! I don’t go around touching ANYone’s hair; caucasoid, negroid, mongoloid or any others. I don’t want to touch my daughter’s hair, LOL …

Dolores
Dolores
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

I really don’t think this woman, or any of us who have commented on this article, are saying that what has happened to the child is racist. I think the general consensus is that the child’s personal space has been invaded. In that regard, I think you’ve drawn a comparison with the prior article by taking it out of context.

Auset
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

I liked the article, but I can see what Jasmine is saying. White validation is real. It may not have been on BGLH, but I have read of black women not liking their natural hair touched, and people being like “Lighten Up! It’s just curiousity. I take it as a compliment when someone wants to touch my hair. Blah, blah, blah.” When I read this article, I thought, “Great points. But I hope that people don’t listen to her only because she is a white woman.” And this is from other Black women or People of Color. And it’s not… Read more »

Jasmine
Jasmine
9 years ago
Reply to  Auset

Thank you Auset. This is exactly what I’m talking about. We need to pay more attention to the power dynamics of our racial/gender interactions. Black people tend to view other black people (and, sadly, sometimes themselves) as lower/subservient in the power dynamic. It’s sad. And I see it alot on this site. A few years back, Leila posted an article about a black dad who was in charge of combing his daughter’s hair. The response was positive, but a bit tepid. It was nothing compared to the post about Clifton Greene (I believe his name is) a white man who was in… Read more »

Elle
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

@Jasmine this is a very interesting POV but I’m not sure I agree. I think a large part of it is that we think that other black people *should* know how to care for their children’s hair and *should* understand our trials and tribulations, but on the other hand, we are so used to white people not “getting it” that when one does, we automatically breathe a sigh of relief and yell, “THANK YOU!” because it lets us know that not all white people live in their bubble of superiority and live life ignorantly because they can. The same can… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  Elle

@ Jasmine- yes, excellent point- members of a maligned group often eerily relish the validation of the majority/dominant group- but: Elle is right on point, imo, with her analysis: people expect in-group members to know [the tyranny of the “shoulds”]and out-group members to be unaware or completely uninterested about a set of knowledge, belief, attitudes, values etc…but as Elle put so wonderfully: “we are so used to white people not “getting it” that when one does, we automatically breathe a sigh of relief and yell, “THANK YOU!” because it lets us know that not all white people live in their… Read more »

Oyan
Oyan
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

100,000,0000,000+!!

binks
binks
9 years ago
Reply to  Auset

Agreed! no offense but this lady isn’t stating anything other mothers or women in general haven’t stated time in and out before so to me it isn’t anything new under the sun written here. I appreciate her effect nontheless

Jasmine
Jasmine
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Ladies, excuse me. I linked to the incorrect article. I should have linked to this article: http://bglhonline.com/2011/07/touching-natural-hair-without-permission-is-it-a-race-thing/

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

OMG, Jasmnine I am SO in agreement with you on the “white validation” thing! Why does it take a white person to cosign on something before folks “get it”? And it really irks me that so many black people are guilty of this mentality.

I wonder if this letter would be as well-received and “fawned over” of the mother who wrote it was black.

BTW the “chocolate” and “vanilla” thing weirded me out too.

sarah
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

you know Jasmine, before you make sweeping judgments of a serious manner, i would suggest that you take into account just how large the readership of BGLH is and the fact that people make comments on certain topics because they want to. so, the same people who made the comments on this post may not be the same commentors of the other post. personally, i only make comments if i can relate. i made no comment on this post initially because i don’t have a child and cannot relate. but, personally, i take no issue with people, of any race, wanting… Read more »

mek
mek
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Before I even read this article, Jasmine, I recalled the one you are talking about and the comments and thought to myself, “I bet everyone is going to love what this [white] woman has to say.” smh.

June
June
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

I agree with you. I see this apologist attitude more in the natural hair community, which is more surprising to me.

Jasmine
Jasmine
9 years ago

Oh, and I’m waiting for a white person to write into BGLH about how it’s not okay to use an afro wig as a silly costume, so that Jasmine (the other Jasmine) can be justified. Because apparently, when these concerns come out of the mouth of black and bi-racial women, they have no credibility.

See here: http://bglhonline.com/2011/09/why-are-afros-considered-a-costume/

Kate
Kate
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Geeze, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Stick to the subject at hand.

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Ditto! I’m exhausted reading all of this thread derailing.

Jasmine
Jasmine
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

First off, I can comment as I please. People go off topic in the comment box all the time. It’s not unusual. Secondly, my concern has EVERYTHING to do with the subject at hand. How is it that, when white people make observations, they shoot to the top of the credibility list. But when black people say they same thing, they are automatically labeled as bitter, militant or misguided. I will say it (or type it) again: Black women lack self esteem, on many MANY level. And taking a relaxer out of one’s head is no indication that she has… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Jasmine you do have a valid point and I think many of us who participate in this blog, whether we post or not, may agree. I think what you speak of is whose ‘voice’ is heard the loudest and given the most credibility. We see this often-for example- in the way “known” history has been rewritten and retracted to the benefit of others. But, the assumption that the majority of the positive comments are due to lack of self-esteem and feindish love of white validation seems a little over-reaching to me to the point of stereotyping. Yes, we know there are… Read more »

Ladybug
Ladybug
9 years ago

Great article!

CBoyce
CBoyce
9 years ago

I agree with this mother! She went straight to the point, and I just love it, that she is standing up for her daughter’s hair!

Rebeccah El
Rebeccah El
9 years ago

I thought this was a very honest post. I believe it even transcends race, there are many times we see things that we like n feel the need to touch it (them). How many times do we feel disrespected when we are touched without permission? I think it is good practice even for children we know to ask there permission to see or touch anything to help them learn acceptable interactions between them and other adults or children. I thank you for helping me see things in another light!

Soundslikeramona
Soundslikeramona
9 years ago

Great article! I loved it!

kisha
kisha
9 years ago

I am happy this little girl can call this woman Mama!!

Bridge
Bridge
9 years ago

WOW!!! One of only a gagillion white folks that get it. She is a rare breed, don’t get it twisted, one of only a gagillion!

cypress
cypress
9 years ago
Reply to  Bridge

Even if that were true one is better than zero. And for your information, I know MANY White people who “get it”. We don’t like them generalizing us so let’s not do it to them okay? Peace.

Cat
Cat
9 years ago
Reply to  cypress

+1

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago
Reply to  Cat

2nd!

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  cypress

+ 1,000,000 This is not to understate the problem, b/c we all know that there is, yet, my husband of ten years “Gets it”. He has survived a lot of difficult lessons over the years to arrive at his current level of understanding, but he most certainly and honestly gets it. Let’s not forget that there have been many others throughout history who have gotten it-reach one, teach one as the saying goes.….. And fact, an excellent example of one who get’s it is the author Tim Wise who penned “White Like Me” and many other notable books on the… Read more »

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

While I like Tim Wise, he is a perfect example of white validation that was discussed above.

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  Emme

@ Emme: I respectfully do not agree with you. The author was used as an example of Whites who do get it-nothing more and nothing less. Maybe you read his works and feel validated, but I read his works and say ‘excellent research with thoughful critical analysis, but here is where I may or may not disagree with said analysis’-yup, it’s that simple. I respect Mr. Wise for his scholarship, just as I respect the scholarship of many deceased and living Black and non-black writers in the study of social systems. I really do believe that some people just have… Read more »

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

Ermm.

I was not specifically referring to you, but it has been noted by a lot of people, even Tim Wise himself, that a lot of his success is because people prefer to hear these things from him- a white male. He has built a career on discussing racism in America, something is not personally affected by.

Your last paragraph is sort of ridiculous. Whites DO have more power so it is not a matter of perception. They are NOT superior, but, collectively, they are more powerful.

Bridge
Bridge
9 years ago
Reply to  Bridge

NO!!!!!!!! Ladies stop it!!!!!!! “There is no one is better than zero.” Our collective history here, gives us the right to determine our own thoughts about our hair, skin and bodies! Just because one white woman appears to understand does not mean we applaud her! “Even if that were true”, you are g*damn right its true. I always have enough energy to call white folks on their shit, they are transparent and I see right through them!

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  Bridge

Please continue to call anyone out who needs schoolin’, regardless of race:) And please remember, to abstain from imbuing a group with so much power that ultimately ends in the out-group member consistantly being on the defensive and powerless. Peace and Blessings y’all 🙂

Karen
Karen
9 years ago

Amazing! She really put it down as people should hear it!

yoli
9 years ago

she went IN in a very eloquent way. go, mom!

alexis
alexis
9 years ago

I have mad respect for this woman. She’s doing a great job as a parent and fostering her child’s esteem in herself!! If you are a white parent with a black child, that’s least you can do. Really appreciate seeing this.

southern belle
southern belle
9 years ago

I thought this letter was so touching. 🙂

B
B
9 years ago

This woman is CRAZY!

Tiffany
9 years ago

Now that’s a great parent.

peace, Love and Chocolate,
Tiffany

toyaallgrownup
toyaallgrownup
9 years ago

I love this!!!! But she does have beautiful hair. Would you get offended if I just got close, just because I want to try and copy the style for my two little princesses?

Michelle Hubbard
Michelle Hubbard
9 years ago

I took a look at her website and she does an awesome job w/her little girl’s hair. Her little girls hair looks healthier and better cared for than some of the black children where I live (St.Louis) who have black parents..

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

Very well said! I hope to be the parent of some beautiful biracial babies in the next few years and I think about this type of thing all the time. Thank you for sharing your feelings on this topic. I don’t think you could have said it any bette!

Meex
Meex
9 years ago

I really enjoyed reading this article. This mother loves her daughter like any other without the presence of race or color. I don’t understand the negative posts. I’m not sure what article you are reading or how you can find anything to criticize… To those who don’t like chocolate/vanilla. They are just words. She probably uses these terms as a mother on a daily basis and they are a part of her everyday vocabulary. There’s nothing derogatory about them so what’s with the complaints? It’s not about the words you want to read…it’s about the message she’s getting across. To those… Read more »

Jay
Jay
9 years ago

I personally thought, that she was making a big deal over nothing. I thought how does she know her daughter doesn’t do exactly what she doesn’t want ppl to do to her hair. That was my inurial first thought but then I thought her daughter probably expressed some feelings about it. part of me feels like she is overreacting and the other part feels like it’s hard for me to believe parents would do that, but kids r being kids.

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago
Reply to  Jay

Your post makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Audrey
Audrey
9 years ago
Reply to  Annie L.

+1

Stephanie
Stephanie
9 years ago

Good for you for acknowledging how wrong it is. I lived in Phoenix for a while and one of the reasons we decided not to stay there was for this very reason. We were always being stared at and my son and daughter had to endure other children touching their hair and skin. I didn’t want my babies growing up somewhere where they were made to feel like they were constantly on display like some spotted monkeys in a zoo. Unfortunately most white people do not have black children in their lives so they do not have this personal emotional… Read more »

Elle
9 years ago

Bottom line is…people should not touch other people without asking. I’m not sure why folks feel so entitled to think otherwise, regardless of race. I have had black people (once this actually happened to me at a hair event, and I really thought she should have known better) and white people touch my hair without asking, and yes, they do get a side eye and may get close to getting their fingers bitten off. However, if you ask me, I sometimes say yes, depending on my mood. I’m glad her mother understands. If it is not a big deal to… Read more »

MrsCottonCurls
MrsCottonCurls
9 years ago

The love this mother has for her daughter is so evident in the tone & content of this article. I felt so blessed to read this article. I am happy to hear that this little girl has a mother that respects and supports her individuality and is teaching her to love herself, just as God made her, and that she doesn’t have to feel obligated to allow any adult to touch her hair, because that’s her personal space. I would love to be a fly on the wall when someone reaches out to touch this little girl’s hair in the… Read more »

Queeen
Queeen
9 years ago

I loved this post and thought her letter was RIGHT ON THE MONEY!

Honestly, I wasnt in love with the term “chocolate” hair or any other reference to race through flavors, but that’s minor. There is nothing wrong with the statement it just not my statement of choice.

This post really speaks to a bigger issue than just hair touching and the way she chose to go about addressing those issues was excellent! Seriously praise God for people like her and praise God this adorable girl has a loving home.

Crys
Crys
9 years ago

Wow! So well put! I think it’s so important and on the money to let this child and even other adult know that people touching you is not always ok. I think it can be harmful to dignity and self worth to not know that your body is yours. I think people forget that when they do or don’t ask to touch and you say now. I still cringe when I think of a coworker that recently pulled my hair and was excited bout touching it and seeing it coil back. I didn’t want to reprimand her but I wish… Read more »

Ms Hood
Ms Hood
9 years ago

I LOVE IT! It was touching, endearing, selfless, wholesome, & exactly right. As a 30 year old if you ask to touch my hair and I say no — dont think Im being rude! 🙂

cocobakerchica
cocobakerchica
9 years ago
Reply to  Ms Hood

Amen to that! Don’t touch me (or my hair)unless I’ve given permission! I’ve had to duck the hands of folks of many races/ethnicities(and once a relative) who thoughtlessly reached out to touch without asking. I don’t spontaneously touch pregnant ladies’ bellies(friend or not), I only touch a baby after I’ve made sure it’s okay. Come on; if people are conscious enough to ask owners if it’s okay to pet their dog or cat beforehand, how is it there isn’t enough civility to ask to touch a fellow human? I’m puzzled to why there’s hostility; if the author of the letter… Read more »

Queenkai
Queenkai
9 years ago

This was a wonderful article writen by someone how obviously loves their child. I love that she has listened and watch and realized the damage that can be done when people treat children as novelties. BRAVO! As a mother of biracial children, I have heard it all and she did some up my feelings about people touching my childrens hair and skin.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

For those who do not like the chocolate hair or vanilla parent comments she made in her letter, I believe she was just doing that because the website it was originally on was “ChocolateHairVanillaCare.com, she was probably just trying to be clever by using the terms in the website title. I don’t think she was trying to be offensive at all.

Shannon LC Cate
9 years ago

Amen!
I have talked to my daughter’s teacher about this too. My girls aren’t the only Black children at the school, but it is mixed. Fortunately, my daughters have a Black teacher who gets it and can be a guardian of their space. I have also given my girls the language, “please don’t touch my hair. My hair belongs to me!”

Robin
Robin
9 years ago

Thank you for standing up and saying what we have tolerated for so many years!

Thelly
Thelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Robin

amen!

Melany
Melany
9 years ago

The little girl is adorable & she’s so blessed to have a caring & sensitive mom!

katee
katee
9 years ago

THANK YOU AND BEAUTIFUL!

Keturah
Keturah
9 years ago

I totally agree. I have found though being a chocolate momma of a chocolate girl she is very curious about hair in general and I find her touching hair that is unlike her own as well as her own. ie. weaves, vanilla hair and especially her own. I agree that no one should in any way infringe on anyone’s personal space, but I also realize that children are children. They often do just what we ask others not to do. JMHO

Lisa
Lisa
9 years ago

I understand how you feel. I am black but when my daughter was little she has long curly hair and I would put beads, barrettes, etc. Just styled her hair different ways. And people always wanted to touch and I would have to say no don’t touch her hair or pull her back when they started to reach out. before they could touch her hair. And she didn’t like it either and she would express that if you touched and did not ask first. I am grown and people will not ask before they reach out to touch my hair… Read more »

Dawn Michelle
9 years ago

I am so in awe of this article. This mother is teaching her daughter pride, self respect, and authority over her body. These are very invaluable lessons for young girls especially when being polite is was so encouraged, yet there is a balance with inappropriate behavior. Teaching your daughter when to say “no” is important and empowering when it comes to outsiders. “Chocolate” hair is uniquely different, yet doesn’t mean open to strangers’ curious hands. Thank you for your strong words and beautifully written letter. Many blessing to you and your family.

Boss Madam
Boss Madam
9 years ago

What Ms. Rory has articulated is poignant and very well received. I appreciate your expression on the subject.

sherry k
sherry k
9 years ago
Reply to  Boss Madam

1+

Annedrea
9 years ago

Rory, You go!!!
I do not like anyone placing their hands in my hair now or ever in the past. I don’t know where ppl’s hands have been and I prefer not to be hair raped!

maria
maria
9 years ago

Phew! What a long winded letter!

Lynn
Lynn
9 years ago

This is a wonderful response to people who don’t understand personal space.

chicconsumerr7
chicconsumerr7
9 years ago
Reply to  Lynn

Agreed.

atuanya
atuanya
9 years ago
Reply to  Lynn

yeah and for people who think that they can get away with doing something that they would expect Rory to condone, since she might be perceived by several as not having a clue.

Kaya
Kaya
9 years ago

Chocolate” hair?? Really??

Paige
Paige
9 years ago
Reply to  Kaya

Right! Was I the only one who was offended by all the chocolates and Vanilla comments? And please don’t tell me this poor child’s name is boo? Other than that I agree, she just could have used better words.

Alex
Alex
9 years ago
Reply to  Paige

If u go to her website (i follow her), you’ll see she’s a loving mother who truly cherishes her daughter. Try not to judge her, because race aside, you would give her props for how amazing she is. And we all have nicknames for our kids — why should she be any different?

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Paige

I think she calls her child Boo to protect her identify as much as she can given the public nature of her blog, which i think is the appropriate and responsible thing to do in this day in age

Meisha
Meisha
9 years ago
Reply to  Kaya

I guess I don’t see what the problem with the term chocolate hair is. I call myself chocolate all the time and I think terms chocolate and vanilla to describe people are honestly cute. I guess everybody has their own opinion on it but I see no harm in it at all.

Sonya
Sonya
9 years ago
Reply to  Meisha

Love the term chocolate and vanilla.Some people need to get over themselves and get the real content of the mothers letter. There is no harm at all in the terms.

CessCurls
9 years ago
Reply to  Sonya

I agree I see NOTHING wrong with using the terms Chocolate and Vanilla.I think it is a rather cute and creative choice of words. If she was chocolate saying it would it still be a problem? Or if she had used the term nappy or kinky I guess you would still be offended even though we as naturals use it all of the time.But because she is Vanilla it’s a problem. People please!!!! I agree with Sonya get over yourselves and get the point that the letter was trying to make she obviously is loving mother stressing the concern for… Read more »

Strawberry
Strawberry
9 years ago
Reply to  CessCurls

@CessCurls I find referring to ppl as chocolate quite creepy and I do not like it regardless of the color of the person doing it. All this chocolate vanilla referencing is annoying. PPL always trying to go out of their way to make themselves feel special. However, I am not hung up on ppl touching children’s hair. If anyone needs to get OVER anything it’s nappy headed women thinking that the world has to kowtow to their sensitivities. Touching one’s hair is not the same as touching someone’s pregnant belly without permission. If you feel dehumanized because someone touches your… Read more »

Elle
9 years ago
Reply to  Strawberry

@Strawberry — I’d say using the word dehumanized is extreme, but for me at least, it’s not about people touching my hair, it’s about people touching *me* without asking. I do not like strangers touching ANY part of me — my arm, my hair, my hand, my leg, etc without some kind of inquiry or introduction and my consent. Would you get offended if someone randomly walked up to you, stroked your cheek and told you that your skin looked really silky and soft? Re: use of the word chocolate — ultimately, it depends on whom it is coming from. If… Read more »

Likewaterforchocolat
Likewaterforchocolat
9 years ago
Reply to  Strawberry

Sorry, Strawberry but touching one’s pregnant belly is the same as touching one’s hair. They are both parts of a person’s body and a stranger should not touch anyone in a familiar way. I don’t think that showing respect for someone’s personal space is kowtowing to sensitivities in any way. I don’t go around touhcing white women’s hair because the texture is different from mine and I’m sure if I did, there would be consequences. And, “Wear a hat”? are you listening to yourself? So, she shoudl send her kid to school with a hat on everyday to hide her… Read more »

W
W
9 years ago
Reply to  Strawberry

I find referring to ppl as chocolate quite creepy”.
Says the person by the name of Strawberry. Your last point strikes me as very ignorant. Just how you said that people who feel dehumanized when someone touches their hair should wear a hat, someone could say that women who feel dehumanized when people touch their pregnant bodies should just stay home. The overall message is to not disrespect people by touching them if they don’t want to be touched. You are not entitled to touch my hair or body without permission.

Bridget
Bridget
9 years ago
Reply to  W

+1 LOL @ “Says the person by the name of Strawberry.” People are so quick to judge others but are totally blind to their own issues. Well I find referring to oneself as strawberry quite creepy.

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  W

Says the person by the name of Strawberry…LOL, Well played W, well played.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
9 years ago
Reply to  Strawberry

@Strawberry

If anyone needs to get OVER anything it’s nappy headed women thinking that the world has to kowtow to their sensitivities.”

Was it really necessary to refer to natural women as nappy headed women? Really? So sensitive.

And referring to people as chocolate or vanilla is no big deal, especially since Ms. Rory has adopted a Black child, which she loves and adores.

aiych
aiych
9 years ago
Reply to  Sonya

It’s patronizing regardless of who it’s coming from. Why do people have such a problem with saying black and white?

It’s mildly annoying how people want to “cuten” everything up to make it more palatable.

However, there are so many other things to be thinking about regarding race, the chocolate/vanilla references are defintely at the bottom of the list of concerns (for me at least).

Elle
9 years ago
Reply to  aiych

Well that’s my entire point — depending on who it’s coming from, it’s not a substitute for saying black or white. If we are having a conversation about race or someone is referring to my race, they would have no issue calling me black. In some cases, it’s just being silly and something to call someone. For instance, my lab partner in high school was white, and rather than peaches n’ cream, we called ourselves (va)nilla n’ cream — we were being silly because every week we had to go to this random lake and test water — we had… Read more »

aiych
aiych
9 years ago
Reply to  Elle

“If we are having a conversation about race or someone is referring to my race, they would have no issue calling me black.” Aaaaaand this mother is having a conversation about her child’s race and something very particular to black females in regards to our hair. Her blog deals with race relations to a significant extent. Anywho, I’m not about to write an angry email to the woman or file a complaint with the Bureau of Offended Negroes. It’s only a mild annoyance. Her letter is on point though, at least she took the time to write this out and it… Read more »

Brwnsugah
Brwnsugah
9 years ago
Reply to  aiych

I don’t have a problem with the chocolate and vanilla language. When my son was small, he corrected me when I would refer to someone as black or white. In his eyes, he was brown, some people were golden, some people pink, some maple, etc. Kids come up with their own ways of referring to themselves. Who knows maybe this is how her child sees herself and her family?

Angie
Angie
9 years ago
Reply to  Brwnsugah

That’s how my son and I are. We don’t refer to people as white or black. People are people and when we describe them we may say golden, chocolate, peanut butter, butter, vanilla. It makes since for his 5 year old brain, plus, I don’t want to raise my son to be hung up on race.

I think this mother and her daughter are beautiful and I wish them nothing but much peace and blessings.

Krissy
Krissy
9 years ago
Reply to  Kaya

I kinda like Chocolate hair. When it comes to identity I think that it is important that we give people space for that to develop, however it may. My little cousins are biracial and they refer to themselves as Panda (Black and White). I think it is cute and fun. We don’t know what kind of conversations that she has with her daughter around “race” and if that is their language at this point then so be it.

NaturalnFree
NaturalnFree
9 years ago

WELL SAID!!!!! I’d love to meet this lady!

M'Karyl Gaynor
M'Karyl Gaynor
9 years ago

Yes…tell that one Vanilla Momma…so very well articulated…indeed

Heather Speaks
Heather Speaks
9 years ago

very well said…

Jacaci
Jacaci
9 years ago

Thank you for standing up for your daughter. She is blessed to have you for a mother. Her hair is just that–her hair!

Earth Angel
Earth Angel
9 years ago

Alright! ALRIGHT! Three cheers for an AWESOME mom! I can’t imagine what will happen when I have children and have to deal with this issue! Although I can tend to be VERY direct if need be, and you having written this letter shows how kind and patient you are. 🙂 Me on the other hand, not so much! LOL!

Sharon
Sharon
9 years ago

I love the way you addressed this letter. I have had natural hair for seven years now. For six of those years I had dread-locs. I took my locs down one year ago and people seem to be so in awe of my loose natural hair. I understand their intrigue, but think it is extremely rude for people to touch my hair without my permission; especially in the work place! Thanks a bunch for voicing what so many of us think.

Kya
Kya
9 years ago

I loved the chocolate and vanilla stuff. This momma is right, people really got to start watching their manners. When I was a kid my mom drilled it into me that no one’s hands other than her should be put in my head. And I lived by those rules. I’m starting to think that Etiquette classes should be mandatory in highschool and college. Some people need to learn some respect.

ranuka
ranuka
9 years ago
Reply to  Kya

It needs to go much further than that — Should start with adults who do not acknowledge boundaries, or think nothing about coming up to a random stranger and going through their head like they lost something in there. pathetic isn’t it?

craziedBERD
craziedBERD
9 years ago

Reading, I COMPLETELY understand where you are coming from. I am 21 years of age and only natural for 2. I don’t have a problem with people touching my hair (when asked)but, for some reason, only guys will ask and girls will just reach for my hair. I just find it odd… I have one friend (who is a female) that will touch my hair every time see see it! It’s really annoying! SO people… Keep your hands to yourself… PLEASE AND THANK YOU! 🙂

Indeed
Indeed
9 years ago

Love the mother’s letter, but tired of white folks adopting our children.

Jas
Jas
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

@ Indeed — if you are tired of white folks adopting our children then you should adopt if you haven’t already and encourage our community to do the same. Thank God this little girl has a mother that cares and loves her. She could be in foster care…

Real RBN
Real RBN
9 years ago
Reply to  Jas

Thank you Jas! My words exactly.…

Monisola
9 years ago
Reply to  Jas

I totally agree, if we don’t want “them” adopting us we need to do better by us, by our children, by our communities. I think that any mother/family is better than foster care or the streets, and obviously this mother has done the best a white person can do (let’s face it these issues are hard enough for many black people to get straight in their heads), so let us look at the bigger picture of blacks taking care of their communities better, of society as a whole getting healtheir, of the foster care system and how messed up it… Read more »

NubianPrize
NubianPrize
9 years ago
Reply to  Jas

I agree 100%.If black folks don’t step up in large enough numbers to adopt these kids,then let there be transracial adoptions.Kids need a loving family no matter what color. White folks can & do raise black kids…both biological & adopted.… & do a good job.Prime example.…PRESIDENT OBAMA !!!

LillianMae
9 years ago
Reply to  Jas

+1

Paige
Paige
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

I agree with you Indeed… I am tired of it too… I don’t have kids, and my plan is to adopt whether I ever get married and have kids or not. But that speaks to a bigger issue in our community that young ladies and women today are so damn loose with their vaginas that if the kids ain’t getting aborted then we are just giving them away… we need more proper birth control methods in our community. Funny how white and asian babies are never available for adoption and everybody else’s kids are flooding the foster care system. I… Read more »

Monisola
9 years ago
Reply to  Paige

AMEN!

justme
justme
9 years ago
Reply to  Paige

so from this comment, I gather…you think this little girl would be better off having never been conceived than she is now, alive and beautiful and being raised by a mother who loves her? That’s so sad. Here we have a mother who wanted to adopt a child and turned to the many black children in need of homes in this country instead of looking for a white or asian child overseas because, lucky for “boo”, her mom WASNT completely turned off by the ignorant reactions she knew she would get from most people in this country (of every color). You’re… Read more »

Rachel
Rachel
9 years ago
Reply to  justme

@justme

I couldn’t have said it better 🙂

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  justme

@ Just me- Perfectly stated 🙂

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  justme

I agree with your overall point, but I want to correct a misperception that black folks don’t adopt. The number of black children in the system would be much more if not for the many black family members that step in to take kids before they get there. Also black people adopt and foster black children more than any other group.

This seems to be one of the lines of thinking that keep going despite evidence to the contrary.

justme
justme
9 years ago
Reply to  Emme

Thanks a lot for that info, Emme. It’s very good and encouraging to hear. Do you know a good place to find stats on that? I’d love to be able to enlighten other people (the way you have enlightened me) and a source always makes that easier.

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  justme

I need to dig it up. I will use this week and the weekend to find it. It was one of those articles you read and are pleased about, but forget to save. It seems so intuitive I felt stupid not knowing it. Of course, black people foster and adopt black children at higher numbers than any group. I think the article specifically mentioned the high numbers of black grandmothers that take in their grandkids. I’ll dig for it. [Another article/data I need to post is the one that showed black people (black immigrants specifically) are the most educated group in… Read more »

Krissy
Krissy
9 years ago
Reply to  justme

Slaps @justme a high five! People try to make things so “black and white” (no pun intended). Open up your minds and your hearts and look at the big picture here. This child’s mother appears to be doing a damn good job!

Nikia
Nikia
9 years ago
Reply to  justme

THANK YOU!

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
9 years ago
Reply to  justme

I’m just curious why women’s loose vaginas are the sole culprit of this black baby surplus you complain about, when I’m pretty sure each of those women needed the cooperation of an equally loose penis to get pregnant in the first place.”

Loose vaginas and penises!! Oh my. LOL.

Mikavr
Mikavr
7 years ago
Reply to  justme

Wow justme… really well said. I agree with every point you made. Especially about “our” children and not being there when she was available for adoption.

Indeed
Indeed
9 years ago
Reply to  Paige

Paige, I wish people would stop being PC about this. What do you think the reaction would be if Black folks starting adopting white kids en masse? Do you even think it would be allowed!? Did you know until the late 1970s it was advised that whites not adopt black kids due to the psychological and emotional consequences? Many African-American psychologists and social workers have not changed that professional opinion, even in 2011. These white parents often have no black friends or relatives, nary a clue about the African American experience. They receive no training and just may do a… Read more »

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

It has nothing to do with being politically correct, but everything to do with putting your money where your mouth is. Your whole argument is pointless!!! Until we fix the broken in our communities that resulted in these kids ending up in the system (which I can guarrantee you is cruel and has no soul), then we should embrace anyone who is willing to give them a home. Should we correct them when they err? yes, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Likewaterforchocolat
Likewaterforchocolat
9 years ago
Reply to  EG

@EG, I concur.

@Indeed you get no credit for considering adoption because there are people who are actually doing it. Your argument does not pertain to this mother writing the open letter. Secondly, this mother does not want her child treated like a pet and care for her and wants her to appreciate her natural beauty unlike the Europeans you reference from the 1600s.

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

Why are some of us so bent on denigrating the black community? Yes, there are some serious problems within our community, but has anyone seen Jerry Springer, Dr. Phil, or Maury? I see the exact same problems across “White”, “Black”,“Pacific Islander”, “Native American” and “Hispanic/Latino” communities. And if pop culture is not your thing, just check the U.S.Census community surveys or any government or non-profit population data set. Talk about poor choices- but as all things, we must put these “poor choices” in the proper socioeconomic-historical context. Furthermore, poor choices are often a part of life-some rebound and some don’t.… Read more »

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

Thank you for this. I am so sick and tired of the ‘black people this’ and ‘black people that’ rhetoric on these so-called progressive sites. It is never anything positive. ‘Sadly what I think the problem is, is that many Black Americans have swallowed the racist stereotypes and bull crap that so many other non-blacks may believe. I know it’s hard for many to unchain themselves considering our eurocentric educational system and society, but we are not just what you see on the news or what one may see from a finite perspective.’ That paragraph really sums it up. Black… Read more »

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  Emme

Black people adopt more than any other group? You care to back that up? And please don’t point to the post above because what she said is we are more likely to adopt another family member, and given how many grandparents are raising their grandkids (which is more likely what she is talking about) because the parent are in jail, that is nothing to brag about. Show me statistics that show that we are just as likely to adopt kids who are not related to us, then we will talk.

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  EG

Black people adopt, formally or informally, black kids in higher numbers than any other group. They ‘adopt’ kids before they ever get into the system.

Whites are also more likely to adopt a white disabled child than a healthy black child. I have to get back to my laptop to search for the article and will post the link once I find it.

laela
laela
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

Indeed,

I am 25, black and adopted by a white family (adopted when I was a few days old). Why do you be productive about this and find an initiative that educates white families on raising black children? Maybe you should say something to the mother at the gym. I just wonder how people like you treat adoptees. Keep in mind that when you say these things you’re offending my (and many other peoples’) families.

Also, don’t forget that many of these historical events that you allude to are simply that — history.

Nikia
Nikia
9 years ago
Reply to  Paige

Young ladies and women today are so damn loose with their vaginas that if the kids ain’t getting aborted then we are just giving them away…”

Speak for yourself. And next time, blame the men AND the women.

Meisha
Meisha
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

We won’t even adopt and care for our own kids. Why should we be up in arms because somebody else wants to love them? I think you should be able to adopt whatever child you want to. I wish somebody would give me side eye if I adopted a child who isn’t Black just because I am Black. The same way I’m not giving side eye to people who aren’t Black adopting Black children. It’s sad that in 2011 people have these kind of hang ups. I guess my head is in the clouds thinking people can regard each other… Read more »

atuanya
atuanya
9 years ago
Reply to  Meisha

‘We won’t even adopt and care for our own kids.’ @ Meisha i’d have to disagree. there are blacks who adopt blacks kids, as well as other kids from different ethnic groups. DeMarcus Ware an NFL player adopted a white baby girl with his wife in 2008 i believe. if he wasnt known it probably wouldnt have made news. i too don’t think that anyone should be up in arms when a white couple adopts a black child. and I also think that anyone should be able to adopt any child they want, but the fact of the matter is that in… Read more »

atuanya
atuanya
9 years ago
Reply to  atuanya

waiting to be adopted*

SJF
SJF
9 years ago
Reply to  atuanya

The baby was light skinned yes but she was Hispanic not white.

Tweet
Tweet
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

I guess I might be a little naive.…No, I’m not. Have u ever considered the fact that this might be her biological daughter? I didn’t read that she was adopted…and u can’t say it’s obvious. For the simple fact, I know a few bi-racial children who look similar to this little girl. I know a girl whose BIOLOGICAL Mother is white, and Daddy is black…and the little girl LOOKS absolutely NOTHING like her mother. I just want to put that out there. It’s not always about the looks…but everything about the DNA.

Elle
9 years ago
Reply to  Tweet

From her blog — As a computer geek, and former motorcycle-riding tomboy, it would never have occurred to me that I would be writing about such girly things as hair care. Yet here I am, the adoptive mother to a lovely little African American girl who joined our family in 2007 at a mere six days old, fully immersed in hair products, beads, and bows! (For our adoption story, see The Very Long Story of a Very Short Adoption Process.) I’ve been blessed with wonderful people who have held my hand through the early days of learning to care for… Read more »

Alex
Alex
9 years ago
Reply to  Elle

+1 and having been in the foster care system myself, not only “at least someone” is, but that “someone” is loving and caring enough to research and blog about the one thing that most black people are still insecure about — hair. I wish my birth mother had that much diligence towards taking care of me.

Elle
9 years ago
Reply to  Alex

Well said. It’s never good enough for some. :-/

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  Elle

Don’t pay attention to the negative comments, some of us believe in putting our KIDS, ahead of some fake pride first. I say fake because how much pride can you have in our community if you would rather see kids in the streets instead of in a loving home?

Indeed
Indeed
9 years ago
Reply to  Elle

BTW, I have heard from African-Americans who work in the adoptive system and as social workers that systemically, it is a racially plagued process. Qualified black couples who want to adopt, I’ve been told, undergo more scrutiny and face delays that whites do not. Has anyone noticed that white folks are walking around with all the young (under age 3) black kids who have been up for adoption, but the older black kids are clogged up in the system? How come black couples face more blockades in accessing these black kids who are up for adoption while they are in their… Read more »

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

Two can play that game. I have friends who are in the field as well, and what they will tell you is that our community frowns upon adoption. Many black families want their ‘own’ child, or they feel that older kids are more of a hassle (I refuse to say damaged). That is why older kids block up the system. I too am looking to adopt, and I am a rarity in my circle. I have friends with money who won’t adopt because their moms told them that they would not consider the child their ‘grandchild’.…THAT is why our kids… Read more »

Brwnsugah
Brwnsugah
9 years ago
Reply to  EG

Having been a foster mother, adopted children, and in foster care, I can speak from many viewpoints. I’ve had more black children in and out of my house than I care to mention. All they wanted was a home filled with love, kindness, and patience. They didn’t care about skin color. A few of the children stayed with me from birth onward. They were deemed ‘unadoptable’ according to the social worker b/c of drug exposure — black adopters weren’t beating down my down. I adopted them. We may have a few challenges, but that is due to being preteens and… Read more »

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  Brwnsugah

Thank you, I never went through the system, but I’ve heard stories, all that matters to a child is that they are wanted and made to feel loved.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
9 years ago
Reply to  EG

@EG:

Bing bing bing bing bing!!! You are exactly right. Too many Black people do not believe in adoption. I noticed on several Black blogs that when the discussion of topic of adoptions came up, it was denigrated as why should I take care of Pookie and Shenequa’s unwanted children?

That’s why so many Black children are with White families.

Florida Steph
9 years ago
Reply to  Tweet

I was thinking the same thing… after all, the mother talked about being pregnant.

GhanaBelle
GhanaBelle
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

Yeah, white people need to stop adopting black children. Instead of being in a loving home with a white mother, she would be better off in the foster care system! Because we all know how much better their lives will be, bouncing from home to home. Indeed, you are a JOKE.

cygnet
cygnet
9 years ago
Reply to  GhanaBelle

I get it, but for the sake of those who don’t or may read this comment after I did, you are being tongue-in-cheek, right? I thought so.

Taneica
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

.…WOW.

Angie
Angie
9 years ago
Reply to  Indeed

Our children”? She didn’t adopt my child. He’s at school right now and I will be picking him up this afternoon and taking him home with me.

So what if a green man from Mars adopts a child in need of a home and love. Perhaps if “we” stopped having children “we” can’t and won’t take care of then “they” wouldn’t have to adopt them?

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
9 years ago
Reply to  Angie

Amen Angie. It’s a shame that the comments bring up the adoptive mother’s race as if it is a bad thing. She should be commended.

BlackAngel Playah
9 years ago

Oh my lord, the hands I have had in my head! And it IS kinda awkward. As a kid or an adult. People were always touching my hair when I was little. When I was locked, people wanted to touch them.. Now as a loose natural, people STILL WANT TO TOUCH IT!!! I know people are curious about “different” types of hair but some control is a MUST! Just pouncing on someone’s head is just rude. LoL! Still, I see why people do it.

Jen

T
T
9 years ago

I’m glad this “vanilla care” mom can say what many “chocolate care” moms have been saying FOR YEARS and be so well received. Hrm. Well written, articulate, true to a T. But it’s a shame that no one has taken black mothers seriously and that this mother is being haled. Just playing devil’s advocate. But her daughter is beautiful and I can definitely admire that she’s teaching her daughter self pride.

Toya
Toya
9 years ago

I love this artilcle!! This is exactly how I felt growing up and even now..My daughter is mixed and people love to try to touch her face and hair, and being the mama bear I am I let them know don’t touch my child!! They look at me with a bewildered look and I look them straight in thier eyes…Do not touch my child, I teach her about strangers and how it’s NOT okay for people to touch you…I feel it’s rude and classless for a grown person to touch a kid they don’t know anyways…It is equally rude that… Read more »

NubianPrize
NubianPrize
9 years ago

Fantastic letter. I’m lucky. I’ve never really had that problem even when I had a huge afro back in the day…of course back in the late 60s-70s, people still had some degree of manners. They would ask to touch my hair & I’d say OK. Nowdays bad behavior & inappropriate language by both adults & kids are spotlighted & glorified in pop culture.

Jasmine
9 years ago

Love this!!! Glad there are good mothers out there .. especially multicultural mothers.

Tia
Tia
9 years ago

The letter was a bit long. But endearing and thoughtful. As for the adoption issues many people posted, Who cares what race adopts black children, as long as they are being adopted and given a better life. I have to say, that many every single one of my adopted friends are highly educated. Some of them have white parents, some have parents of other races, including black. The common factor is their parents were all professionals who adopted because they wanted to give children a better life. So if a white mother is gonna give her black adopted child a… Read more »

Student of Truth
Student of Truth
9 years ago

This was an interesting article. I have to commend the mother for doing her homework on black hair. I have my reservations about her speaking on Boo’s privacy when it comes to hair while having her daughters pics on the net for all to see. I don’t think Boo is being given a choice as to whether she wants her image displayed for the world. This is just my humble opinion which might be biased due to our history of exploitation at the hands of Europeans. I hope Boo is learning about Black history and not just American slavery but… Read more »

aiych
aiych
9 years ago

It very well might be biased considering how many black mothers also plaster their kids images over the internet. Curly Nikki and Beads, Braids and Beyond are just two websites that come to mind initially.

Anon
Anon
9 years ago

What rich african ancestry? Are you african? do you know how to make any african meals? Have you been to the continent?? I HATE the whole “hopefully they are educationg our babies on our rich African ancestry… thats silly it doesn´t exist.

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  Anon

To you?

Shulonda
Shulonda
9 years ago

WOW…what a wonderfully written letter.…bravo!

Naturalchickkk
Naturalchickkk
9 years ago

I am glad to see a vanilla mother actually combing her chocolate daughter’s hair. I have seen celebrities such as Heidi Klum, who seems not know how to brush nor comb her children’s hair. So, I am happy to see a women who is making sure she looks nice. And I applaude this mother for standing up for her daughter. She doesn’t want people to touch her daughter’s hair. I think she worded this letter in an articulate manner. I love it!!!!! Kudos to her mother.

Candy
Candy
9 years ago
Reply to  Naturalchickkk

Lol, right? Nothing wrong at all with interracial families, cross-racial adoption and what-have-you, as long as the children are cared for properly. Funny, there are tons who learn to care for kinky curly hair as a matter of course, but we usually hear about the ones who don’t. Maybe this mama should teach hair classes?

Charda
Charda
9 years ago

I loved the article, not because it came from a “white” person for a validation reference as someone mentioned because she highlighted something else that I have NEVER seen in reference to natural hair, which is by setting the protocol for what is and is not acceptable for curiosity ot etc sakes when it comes to her daughter’s body, that in return, her daughter will respect it as she grows up, and not allow simple things to mandate what and who can have access to her body, as she is being taught that through something as simple as hair care.… Read more »

Nadine
9 years ago

Beautifully put. I went through the same thing as a child and have had to teach my daughters how to handle it too. Your daughter is blessed to have you as a mum.

My youtube video on the girlsloveyourcurls channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/GirlsLoveYourCurls#p/u/12/IB9idPI0KHs

it makes light of my experience with ‘hair touching’ :o).

Dove
Dove
9 years ago

How I deal with disrespect. Take note. Examples 1) A relative of mine that never wears her natural texture, doesn’t like my medium length, 75% gray, 4Z afro (suggesting that I am held down and dyed,etc) put her hand in my hair and pulled to do a length test and to feel my hair I did the exact same thing to her immediately. She never did it again. Ladies give those bitches a taste of there own medicine. Actually, this goes to anyone. If someone ask you an insulting stupid question, return the favor. Also there is nothing wrong with a loving, responsible sane… Read more »

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  Dove

+1

Dove
Dove
9 years ago

Sorry I had technical problems with my comment above. I hoe it’s readable

deena
deena
9 years ago

yawn…

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  deena

then take a nap

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
9 years ago
Reply to  EG

LOL!!!!! Touche’

Dr Jackson
9 years ago

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. Go mamma bear!

BErmary
BErmary
9 years ago

I love this post simply because I have a son with curly hair that he inherited from his dad. We’re stationed in Germany now and all the white people always want to pet him and I hate it. I don’t like to seem rude but it’s so annoying to see your kids being petted like they’re animals simply because of their hair. I mean really it’s hair go pet yourself if it’s that serious.

Betty
Betty
9 years ago

I’m a “hugger” naturally,you know I stay in hot water! I don’t go after children who are not related,but I’ve stroked all of my 6 Grandchilren’s heads to soothe them and rock them to feel calm. Some of my Grands like it some do not. Even my children are divided on this my daughter hates being “touched” or “petted” as she says my son loves every touch,hug and kiss he can get. Just different strokes for different folks. When I hug a person its to soothe them and if I feel any tenseness I do not repeat it and aplogise… Read more »

b.
b.
9 years ago

Please have her send this to CNN. That is all.

Whitney
Whitney
9 years ago
Reply to  b.

I agree! I read an article on CNN and its corresponding comments and believe me…some people just don’t get it! This letter hit the nail directly on the head.

Hulka
Hulka
9 years ago

Lighten up, Frances.

Candy
Candy
9 years ago

LOVE! Linking to FB for sure.

Ashley
Ashley
9 years ago

I think this letter is awesome. She has touched on points from a child development point of view that I had never even thought of. For her to understand what we go through by viewing it through her child is a testament to her character as a mother and a person in general. I think we get too caught up in labels. White people aren’t caught up in these labels…WE are. We are the ones that constantly add weight to words like chocolate or vanilla. Calm down people. Seriously.

Giovanna
Giovanna
9 years ago

I find the disputes on here a little petty, yes I can understand how people can feel uncomfortable with the terms ‘chocolate’ and ‘vanilla’ but this mother meant absolutely no harm. And I agree with everyone else that feels that there is nothing wrong with Caucasians adopting African American children. Too often black children, especially in the US, get left behind. If a social worker (no matter their race or ethnicity) feels there is something wrong with someone adopting a child from a different race and that would it be detrimental to that child’s well being, then that person needs… Read more »

Oh Bother
Oh Bother
9 years ago

I cannot believe the comments on here. I am in an interacial relationship and I call my husband white chocolate. It’s really not that serious. And when I see a little adorable chocolate child I say look at that chocolate drop. I think of chocolate as being sweet and harmless. It’s not meant to be taken negatively at all. I also would rather that a good person adopt a child regardless of race. You don’t have to be black to give someone the love and tenderness they need. Love is love point blank period. And so what if people are… Read more »

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  Oh Bother

It might work for you, it doesn’t have to work for all of us.

Oh Bother
Oh Bother
9 years ago
Reply to  Emme

I never said it did and I could care less what works for another person. It does not play any part on the richness of my life. It’s just said that so many people have so much hate and resentment in their hearts that they focus on race of the mother more than what she is trying to say. Holding hate and resentment towards someone that has never done anything to me based on emotional hangups that were never resolved sure doesn’t work for me.

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  Oh Bother

It seems to me you ARE emotionally invested in this topic. Your comments seem to indicate you do care. Some care about the adoption angle, others don’t; some care about the chocolate/vanilla angle, others don’t; some care about the Boo angle, others don’t. There is nothing for anyone else to understand or get regardless of what they call their significant other or not. It is all good. We are all entitled to our opinions and should not be belittled because you don’t understand it. I don’t care who adopts as far as the person will be a great parent. My… Read more »

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
9 years ago
Reply to  Emme

@Emme,

It’s been explained several times in other comments that the child’s name is not Boo and that the author used that name to hide her daughter’s identity.

Jahtik54
Jahtik54
9 years ago

Well said. Kudos!

Jack
Jack
9 years ago

I assummed she used chocolate (and not black) ’cause it’s more descriptive and her daughter isnt just black…and vanilla is coordinating. Her daughter is little, her mom probably won’t be using cutesy terms when she’s 13 or something.

Elle
9 years ago
Reply to  Jack

Her daughter isn’t black? Then what is she? She’s adopted, she isn’t her biological child.

AishaSaidIt
9 years ago
Reply to  Elle

And what? If you have children and understand the pure heart and work that goes into raising them, then you would never use that side eyed comment refering to biology. I am so taken back wih that. Is she raising this child? Then guess what chick, this women IS HER MOTHER TILL THE END OF TIME. NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK. There is no problem with her calling her child chocolate. I’m sure it’s not news to her that the child is black. Hell I would imagine people like you remind her more than often. I call my kid short… Read more »

Elle
9 years ago
Reply to  AishaSaidIt

Uhhh…not sure what your issue is — as said up thread I have no issue with calling her child that. I was responding to the other poster who said that the child was not just black, as some people thought that the blog author’s husband was black and her child is biracial. I was just clarifying that the child is black and is adopted. Please calm down, thanks. I liked the article and have stated that several times in these comments. So yes, you wish a chick would…what? Agree with you? Smh.

AishaSaidIt
9 years ago
Reply to  Elle

Oh my bad. Carry on.

aiych
aiych
9 years ago
Reply to  AishaSaidIt

Take a seat. Now.

Emme
Emme
9 years ago
Reply to  AishaSaidIt

What are you on about?? You seem to be responding to a comment that was not made.

Is today outrage day?

Jillihan
Jillihan
9 years ago
Reply to  Jack

I think Jack was just referring to skin color in the literal sense.

Elle
9 years ago
Reply to  Jillihan

I’m referring to where he said “her daughter isn’t just black,” (which imo infers she is another race in addition to black) not the part where he said it’s more descriptive. But you’re right, that’s why I asked — my question wasn’t meant to be sarcastic.

Adrienne
Adrienne
9 years ago

I’m a 48 yr old Black woman with hair that reaches the middle of my back (it used to touch my waist) and people have been touching my hair ALL my life. Some ask and some don’t. I realize Black women want to touch my hair because they’re simply not used to seeing a Black woman with natural hair as long as mine. As long as the person touching my hair is respectful and doesn’t pull my hair, I don’t mind having my hair touched. I view other people’s interest and fascination as a compliment. Having said that, I applaud… Read more »

Tonna
Tonna
9 years ago

Amen!

KinkyCurl91
KinkyCurl91
9 years ago

Thank you for writing this letter. I cannot tell you how many times people randomly come up to me out of nowhere and touch my hair. For example I“ll be at work in the break room relaxing listening to music when I feel hands that arent my own patting or touching my hair. And I’m so shocked that before I can say anything they quickly say “I always wanted to touch it” and run off. Like it is insane and what makes it worse sometimes is it is people of my own race African American. You have the same hair… Read more »

Blaqueamazon
Blaqueamazon
9 years ago

I’m not going to get into all of the debate about chocolate vs vanilla, etc.… so.…

Can I just say she has that little girl’s hair done so cute!!! I hate to see children walking around with their hair undone or in a style that is too grown for them. And especially when the parent is of a different race, it is nice to see that they either A- learned how to work with the child’s hair or B- found someone who could. And those puffs look like she kept her hair natural too!

Cute, neat, and age appropriate! I love it!!!

AishaSaidIt
9 years ago

It’s unbelievable how these commenters are tripping on a pet name a mother used for her child. Why? Is it because she is white and the child is black? Does this make her less of a mother to this child? How are these comments not laced is your own race issues? I (a black mother) have called my child (who is also black) chocolate drop many many times and if anyone has a problem with that, you are put on mute (i.e. I can’t hear you). There is nothing wrong with a “vanilla” parent loving their “chocolate” child, and no… Read more »

aiych
aiych
9 years ago
Reply to  AishaSaidIt

It’s less of an issue with her pet names, and more of an issue with her very public blog name and the terms she’s using when speaking to a stranger (or the public) about her child. When having a discussion about race with someone (especially when dealing with a weighty issue), would you still use chocolate and vanilla instead of black and white? No, because that discussion is not cutesy, or meant to be taken lightly. Most commentators probably don’t care what pet names she calls her child in private, especially since most people talk to their kids in “cute”… Read more »

TB
TB
9 years ago

LOVE IT!!! May God continue to richly bless you!

jewellthief
jewellthief
9 years ago

I REALLY don’t get these folx touching black folx’ hair like they’re on a carnival ride.… I need a t‑shirt myself that says that: YOU CANNOT TOUCH MY HAIR W/O MY PERMISSION!!!

My hair is locced, and I had to hold back my nephew one time at the movies because some white woman came at me, hand outstretched and wanted to touch my hair.…needless to say, we didn’t get arrested or kicked out, but she most definitely got a lesson in the master/slave dynamic that NO LONGER EXISTS!!!

JMom
JMom
9 years ago
Reply to  jewellthief

You can get a shirt that says something similar.

http://www.zazzle.com/dont_dare_touch_my_hair_tshirt-235698318732514101

Lee
Lee
9 years ago
Reply to  jewellthief

I don’t think this necessarily has anything to do with race. I think it has to do with the unfamiliar. And races are unfamiliar to each other.
My sister is white and has waist length dreads, and people are always trying to touch hers. And that includes black people.
I don’t think it’s a projection of ownership. I think it’s pure curiosity.
That doesn’t make it okay by any means, but I don’t think imputing race into the issue solves anything.

andycapp
andycapp
9 years ago
Reply to  Lee

I think it’s a combination of the two. Our relationship in this country are at its base are of a racial nature. don’t be so afraid of that reality.for a country built upon racism, surely you can not think being unfamilar is not part of that.

ljb415
ljb415
9 years ago
Reply to  andycapp

100% agree, it is what it is„,lol

Dimplz Phillips
Dimplz Phillips
9 years ago
Reply to  andycapp

+1

Ms. Information
Ms. Information
9 years ago

Isn’t the REAL question why this child’s name is Boo?

Satirical
Satirical
9 years ago

I would hope that that is her nick name, but seeing that this lady is building character into her child’s mind and teaching her about respect…I would believe that she wouldn’t name her something that would degrade her. So, let’s hope its a pet name.

mrs247
mrs247
9 years ago

I’m assuming this mother does not want to give out her young daughter’s real name on the internet for any stranger to see, so that is surely a pseudonym…I have noticed that many mothers who run children’s haircare blogs only use an initial or a nick-name when referring to their children. I would do the same thing to protect my little one.

Tamm
Tamm
9 years ago
Reply to  mrs247

ummm okay, but her face is on the internet.

bee
bee
9 years ago
Reply to  Tamm

The child’s real name is Zoe. And @Tamm, I’m sure there is a pic on the internet of you somewhere. so what??? its not a way to find you so her pics obviously isn’t a way to find her. Boo is a name of endearment from the child’s mother. can we be happy this mom loves her child so much to do what she does? can she get some love???

ReneeMa
ReneeMa
9 years ago
Reply to  bee

MUCH LOVE TO RORY, Boo Mama!!!

src
src
9 years ago
Reply to  bee

THANK YOU, bee!

Alisa
Alisa
8 years ago

Rory does not call her daughter Boo to be mean, there is actually a very cute origin to the name Boo. Rory posted a video about it on her YoutTube page and I believe that she has a post on her blog about it as well. Here is the link to the video:

Alisa
Alisa
8 years ago
Reply to  Alisa
brittany marie
brittany marie
9 years ago

Lol at ms information loll

mel
mel
9 years ago

thank you rory. that express so much what so many feel and have felt about their hair. its my body and please respect it.

yawa
yawa
9 years ago

Ms. Information has such a good point! I am naturally curly hair, always have and have never realxed it. I can tell you I can not stand when a stranger reaches out for my hair or asks me if I have a weave! As for my daughter I have not and will not have anyone touch her hair! Shes a baby under one, she is a little person, as well as who knows where these hands have been! Why do people feel that once you bring a child into this world,all filters of what is said and boundaries of what one does… Read more »

Satirical
Satirical
9 years ago
Reply to  yawa

Ignorance always plays the fool for some people. I’m here in South Korea, and u see them with their babies on their backs as well…but do we stop and stare at them? No, I actually think it is a smart, convenient, cost effective way of carrying ur child. However, the majority of these simple minded people feel the need to stare at blacks, or foreigners for that matter(especially blacks) when we have braids or something else going on with our hair. Or have the nerve to believe u r dark because u can’t afford sunscreen (yeah they really believe this).… Read more »

ScrewyHair
9 years ago
Reply to  Satirical

You’re kidding about the sunscreen, right? Wow, I have never heard that one before. Racism isn’t my usual conclusion, but it is regarding that comment.

Lex
Lex
9 years ago
Reply to  Satirical

I had to reply. I am an Army brat and also in the Army myself. I am 2 years natural now. But this comment brought me back to a time I was in Korea. My mother live down in Daegu. I always have been told Asians were some of the smartest ppl; they are so far from. They are the most simple minded ppl I have ever come across in my life. I had micros while I was over there. One woman asked me outside one day if I was African while she proceeded to touch my head. And they… Read more »

Lizi
Lizi
9 years ago

I’ve got (yes, naturally gorgeous) thick red curls. When I was a toddler, old ladies in the grocery store would come up and touch it without permission thinking it was okay. Scared the crap out of me and then some. Your daughter will be grateful for this in 25 years, if not now.

Satirical
Satirical
9 years ago

Thank you so much for being a true parent. For teaching ur child about boundaries, and making other’s respect her’s. U have encouraged self worth and character in such a special and unique way. Its not a matter of her being “chocolate” as it is her being a child. Most people feel that children do not have rights, but u r teaching her that she does, and for that, Boo’s Mama, U ROCK!!!! Love the styles u create to make her as unique as possible.

Mrslawrence79
Mrslawrence79
9 years ago

I so feel you on this. When I was preggers I would tell people “no you can’t touch my stomach because this is not a petting zoo.” If they were rude enough to touch my child without asking then I would return the gestureand say “excuse me, I don’t know where your hands have been so please don’t touch my child.” I’ve not had the occasion to have them touch her hair but guaranteed, she will be taught that it is not okay for people to touch her ANYWHERE without her permission, this includes hugs, back rubs and hair.

Laquisia
Laquisia
9 years ago

Well said but kinda misplaced.… Black folks are already aware. Did you also place this letter where non-Blacks can enlighten themselves? That would be the greater good.…..

ReniseB
9 years ago
Reply to  Laquisia

She clearly posted this on her own blog where other races would read this and it was reposted here

mynaturalhairrocks
mynaturalhairrocks
9 years ago

NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN ABOUT!

Monzi
Monzi
9 years ago

WOW! This is awesome. ^_^
I never saw a white woman hook up any child’s hair that good…especially a little black girls! I think what she is doing is amazing and it’s nice to see she really wants the girl to embrace herself even if her mom has different textured hair.

I’ve seen interracial families and many of them would resort to giving the black child a perm because they don’t want to put effort into teaching them to do their hair and love it.

Teri
Teri
9 years ago

This Mom rocks! Keep it real Rory! Your baby is blessed to have you advocate for her. Awesome piece of writing.

Honeysmoke
9 years ago

Excellent. A very well-written letter. Now if only people will hear, get and receive the point.

Sandra
Sandra
9 years ago

Love this article.

Fabre
Fabre
9 years ago

On Chocolate and Vanilla — I think this depends on where you come from and if this is used in your every day environment. I am outside the US and we do not tend to call each other by food names. Occasionally as a very small child, I would hear other children use terms like this to identify racial differences and not in a good way. I also don’t see why adults use these terms but to each his own. Just don’t expect to go around the globe and receive a warm reception when you refer to someone as clear,… Read more »

Ummm
Ummm
9 years ago
Reply to  Fabre

Fabre: I think you are taking the title of her blog too seriously. I think the title and her reference to skin color is non threatening and almost whisical. Yes its food…I think its a clear representation of what her blog is about. it’s not about pudding or confections…soo ummmm.

Quietstorm
Quietstorm
9 years ago
Reply to  Ummm

I think Fabre is just saying that culturally, it can be offensive to some. My mother doesn’t like to be called red or high yellow, but some people wear it as a badge of honor. It doesn’t make it wrong or right, but excessing your opinion about what offends you should be ok. The Internet is global, not just in America.

Quietstorm
Quietstorm
9 years ago
Reply to  Quietstorm

*expressing…sorry.

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[…] White Mother’s Opinion on Touching Daughter’s Natural Hair | Black Girl with Long Hair (tags: race) […]

Tamm
Tamm
9 years ago

ummm okay, I guess, but there are lots of other thoughts that are running through my head right now and none of them has to do with hair. whatever.

dude
dude
9 years ago
Reply to  Tamm

so you posted because…???

Lucky
Lucky
9 years ago

I applaud Rory for her timely article. It’s obvious that she loves “Boo” dearly and has her best interests at heart. The part of the article that really jumped out at me is when people would approach her daughter saying,“Oooh, I’ve always wondered what their hair felt like” while pawing Boo’s hair.

Siearra
Siearra
9 years ago

I Definitely love and can relate to this letter! I feel that Rory is doing a great job at teaching her daughter selfworth because in todays world so many don’t have it and don’t understand it! That little girl will grow up to be a smart and beautiful young woman because she has someone in her corner taking her down the right road!!! Even though I am an adult now I still have people that come up to me (some I know and some I don’t) that want to touch my hair without permission and want to feel and it… Read more »

Kenya
Kenya
9 years ago

Much love Rory! <3 Your daughter’s hairstyles and hair are BEAUTIFUL(:

Kristyn Friske
9 years ago

Great article! Well written, insightful and overdue!

Sandra
9 years ago

You make excellent points.

Bianca
Bianca
9 years ago

You go head lady. Tell them. I know first hand about the curiousity. Long story short…I was standing in Burlington (a couple of years ago) just looking at some clothing on the racks and all of sudden I start to feel these cold fingers running up and down the rows of my scalp that were open between my cornrows that I had in. At first I was thinking it was my mother or that it just had to be somebody that I knew because no stranger is just gonna to walk up and help themselves to my hair. I turned… Read more »

Chi
Chi
9 years ago

**APPLAUSE**

trackback
9 years ago

[…] bglhonline.com and read the letter a white mother of a black child wrote to the people who want to touch her daughter’s hair.  Enjoy! Share/Bookmark   About the […]

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
9 years ago

Loved the following the best:

Do not tell me that if I didn’t want her touched that I shouldn’t be doing all these hairstyles that say “look at me, touch me.” Do not blame the victim for your indiscretion or lack of self control.”

Just great. Good for Ms. Rory and Boo is a blessed child.

Laurie
9 years ago

Oh Man…this is SO great!!! I love her blog anyway but this is over the top awesome!! I am the white mother of 3 brown skinned beauties…but somehow people leave my sons’s heads alone and feel the need to touch my 6 month old daughter’s hair…to which I have never been comfortable with. But this hit the nail on the head when she said because she is white, white people feel it is okay. This note has given me the boldness to say “we do not allow anyone to touch her hair out of respect, thank YOU!” the next time… Read more »

Dia
Dia
9 years ago

It’s crazy how negative people can be. This woman wrote about a serious violation that a lot of us have experienced or witnessed and somehow they found themselves focused on the little girl’s nick name. Smh unreachable.

Gee
Gee
9 years ago

I loved it!!! I go to school in middle of nowhere Duluth and everytime I change my hairstyle I dread having to go to school! If I get braids oooooooo let me see can I touch it? which is usually not a question because they are already touching it as they are asking! If I get weave how did your hair grow so long overnight..touch.…touch…not to mention the requests to please please please come to school with an afro one day. People might not realize this but these comments actually do affect people as innocent as they may sound. I’m… Read more »

sandra dudley
sandra dudley
9 years ago

To the ones asking why the name boo-this is what I have to say to you. What’s wrong with the name boo? If we can name our kid lakeshia…snaneka or even a better one that I hear too frequently n—-er!!!!!!!! Boo would suit me fine. I hope the same comments are felt when they hear the word b—-h or n—-r when both of these words are said. The woman has a good article well send and I applaud her for that. Why can’t we just applaud the content behind the letter and not one part.

bahianut
bahianut
9 years ago

oops made some typos ‑To the ones asking why the name boo-this is what I have to say to you. What’s wrong with the name boo? If we can name our kid lakeshia…snaneka or even a better one that I hear too frequently n—-er!!!!!!!! Boo would suit me fine. I hope the same comments are felt when they hear the word b—-h or n—-r when both of these words are said. The woman has a good article well said and I applaud her for that. Why can’t we just applaud the content behind the letter and not one part.

Kia
Kia
9 years ago

I LOVE IT!! God bless you and your child. My little girl has waist length hair and people always feel that it somehow ok to just come into her space and touch her. IT IS NOT! I applaud you and I wish that other parents would take heed to the things you are saying and begin to empower their children.

Jaye
Jaye
9 years ago

Way to go Rory! I have been accused of being rude when I do no allow some stranger to touch my hair. Kudos to you for teaching your baby Boo to be strong.

Shones
9 years ago

To Rory — well said! I think this letter could be re-stated by anyone who believes in the importance of maintaining personal space and basic physical respect. This is just a great full-on argument which could apply in a lot of situations (including pregnant women, as mentioned by others).

I’m bookmarking this one. Thanks for posting this, BGLH!

Mel
Mel
9 years ago

Applause to the author, enjoyed and identified with this letter…we are not to be petted! Also, reading “Boo’s mama” on the end was just the icing on this righteous cake! Loved it!

Nadine Fletcher
9 years ago

Bravo!!! Couldn’t have said it better myself. I am an adult I can take the pawing. And sometimes I find it a bit irritating when people want to finger through my braids and examine them. Once they realize my hair is not fake extensions, it’s home grown. And if they were fake extensions it would still be my hair, my business who wants to be pawed constantly. I have complimented people of all races on their hair. Whether it was long, short or whatever texture I love hair period. And never once was I tempted to touch anyone’s hair. I have eyes and I am… Read more »

MPYL
9 years ago

Great read. I am in agreement that parents should teach their children to first and foremost respect themselves, specifically from others whom them to be different or unique because of something natural as hair. Check out new blog, strategy is everything, htttp://strategyiseverything.blogspot.com/ #FREE KNOWLEDGE. Follow me on Twitter @Hollywood1906

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[…] Feature Black Girl Long Hair: White Mother’s Opinion on Touching Daughter’s Natural Hair  – This post has garnered a whopping 294 comments! The subject matter of hair touching (in this case, Rory’s open letter about it) sparked a huge debate. Most of the comments are supportive, but there are a bunch that are mean and plain old nasty, which I find unfortunate. I wish people can get beyond the color issue (like I did) and appreciate her efforts to be a good mom, instead of tearing her down. SMH! […]

trackback

[…] Feature Black Girl Long Hair: White Mother’s Opinion on Touching Daughter’s Natural Hair  – This post has garnered a whopping 294 comments ! The subject matter of hair touching (in this case, Rory’s open letter about it) sparked a huge debate. Most of the comments are supportive, but there are a bunch that are mean and plain old nasty, which I find unfortunate. I wish people can get beyond the color issue (like I did) and appreciate her efforts to be a good mom, instead of tearing her down. SMH! […]

mommyof7711
mommyof7711
9 years ago

I totally agree I have a little boy that looks mixed but is completly black and everyone down to so asian lady at a resurtant thinks it’s ok to touch his soft curls and rub up on him (umm hell no it aint ok) I try my best not to be rude abd tell them to back off my baby he’s only 3 months but I have to get loud and N!$$@rish sometimes. First of all don’t touch me or my son you have GERMS! I don’t care if you just washed your hands if your not at my house… Read more »

Janice Mosley
Janice Mosley
9 years ago

White Mother’s Opinion on Touching Daughter’s Natural Hair” is a wonderfully written and completely informative article that explains and expresses every point of why everyone should understand and respect the rights and personal space of each and everyone, and most assuredly our children!!!

Think, pause, breathe, would you want what you are about to do to someone else to be done to you???!!!

Angie
9 years ago

Couldn’t have said it better myself! What wonderful articulation.

Kaulana
Kaulana
9 years ago

I loved this article- not so much about the hair touching, but the fact that this woman took the time to really learn to care for her child’s hair! As a mixed kid with a Hawaiian mother, my mom knew nothing about kinky hair. But she didn’t want my sisters and I walking around with dry, knotty hair so she learned how to braid. Sometimes, I wish the internet was more popular back then so she could’ve connected with other women like Rory. Ah well, my mom is/was a beast. She did it on her own! Much respect to my… Read more »

Karlene
Karlene
9 years ago

Ha! Love this article.
When I was about 3 or 4, my mom dragged a lady out of the store by her hair (yes, way too violently but my mom has very little patience). The lady kept touching my hair, I was behind my mother on a long line & I of course felt uncomfortable, told my mom & started crying. I am my mother’s only child so out of pure instinct her first thought was that someone was hurting me. She was still upset to find out that a strange lady was playing with my hair.

Petula
9 years ago

Interesting! I’m glad to see/read that perspective. She is so right. I’ve noticed that even as a black mom with black children; people feel entitled to touch my children… Hug them, caress their hair or run their hands along their face. She’s right, it is a violation and we need to teach our children that overall. As it concerns “chocolate hair and vanilla care” (love that!), how beautiful to see how lovingly she’s teaching her daughter about her hair.

MsPooh2U
MsPooh2U
9 years ago

I was on the elevator after a doctor’s appointment one day along with a white woman. She asked about my hair and volunteered her birthplace as South Africa. Okay … so why did she step toward me with her hand outstretched and reaching to touch my locs?! I put my hand up to block hers and sternly said, “Don’t … touch … my … hair!” She got the message from this USA Black woman and backed all the way up. That was the best thing for her to do. Somebody in South Africa may go for that, but not me.… Read more »

Lisa
9 years ago

Rory great Job with your expressions! We should have more parents standing up and speaking out for Children’s rights. These incidents are often perpetrated on children because adults often feel that children have no rights, feelings, space, or say for their own well being just because they are children; well if we don’t teach them how to protect themselves, who will? Love for self often starts in the home. How will a child know to defend her/himself if we allow such simple offensive violating behavior to continue? Back in the day, young boys use to be greeted by a rub… Read more »

DynamoNatalie
9 years ago

Love it! Kudos to mommy for teaching her daughter that her hair is an extension of her body. I never had strangers touch my hair as a child, but they would rub my arms & sometimes touch my face, because my skin was so clear and smooth. I remember my step grandmother doing it when I first moved to MS at age 7. For years, mostly people of my one race, would just come up and rub on my arms and attempt to touch my face and ask, “are YOU wearing makeup.” my mom would say “No, she’s 11!” It’s true… Read more »

CocoaSavy
9 years ago

SO on point. Even as a grown woman whose hair has been natural most of my life…I can’t seem to get people out of my hair. From twist to locks — to a full blown afro.…yes, its beautiful, we know this already. 🙂 I’m not sure why others are still so amazed.