by Gloria Dulan-Wilson ✆
~ Little Sister Gabby Douglass Makes History Winning the Gold in Gymnastics at the Summer Olympics in London, England - yaaaaay!
Everybody loves her for her grace, poise, stamina and agility - yaaaaay!
American Negroes only see her hair style, and so, completely miss the point-boooooo!
This my response to an article that recently appeared on Grio about Gabby's shock at people criticizing her hair, and her statement: "I just made history and all they can talk about is my hair? Well they can keep talking, because I'm not going to change it!" :
You Go, Gabby!
My congratulations to little sister Gabby for her stunning performance, her poise, her intelligence and her beauty. Kudos to her for her poise and grace in handling the hostile comments of Ne-gro (i.e negative growth) people who obviously think so little of themselves that they project their brainwashing on a young lady who has already gone further in life at 16 they they have at 30, 40, 50 or 60+.
Black people need to get a grip when it comes to our hair. It's borne of racism, and the negative comparisons we make of ourselves to caucasians; but in the 21st century, it's time to get beyond that and embrace our Eclectically Black spectrum.
Gabby has done nothing to be ashamed of; unlike those who made the insipid comments. She has, on the other hand, done a great deal to make us all proud.
It's sad to think our measure of her achievement stems from what hair style she's wearing. To those who made these hurtful, ignorant comments, I'm curious about what you see when you look in your mirrors at home. Unfortunately, far too often the people who need to read these feed back comments are off somewhere badmouthing someone else.
It's the collective negativity and self hatred that keeps us in Lodebar. Time to look at Gabby from the God side of the equation. And God has looked at Gabby and said "This is My beloved Daughter, in whom I Am well pleased." If God be for Gabby - and He Is - then those who stand against her need to step off. from Gloria Dulan-Wilson"
Brothers and Sisters:
The foregoing is a response to the hue and cry about Gabby Douglass' hair. You may or may not know that I'm very passionate about NATURAL Black hair. I've worn a NATURAL since my Junior year at Lincoln University. That's more than two thirds of my life now. And I have never looked back or gone back to the bad old days of temporaries (a/k/a permanents); hot combs or the other ways that we have to "whiten up" our hair. I can truly say "I'm happy nappy!"
Now Gabby is not sporting a natural, but she has elected to style her hair in a way that makes it possible to execute her agility without having to worry about it. And, with such a cute little chocolate drop face, she looks beautiful, the way a wholesome, Black 16 year old girl is supposed to look.
Now, I know that not every Black person shares my love of NATURAL hair. And I have long since dropped the need to proselytize about why a NATURAL is better than other hair choices we might have - in fact we are the one race that can wear our hair in almost any style - "straight", cornrows, locks, short, long, medium, spiked, curly, and of course NATURAL.
No matter what the choice, as long as you know who you are as a Black person, it's all cool with me. Because we're an ECLECTIC PEOPLE, and by that I mean only the most positive, self empowering, uplifting, life affirming qualities are part of the mix - the hair is not the most important thing on the criteria.
BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL - still! Thank you Brother Stokely Carmichael for saying that nearly 50 years ago, and freeing a great many of us of the need to continuously compare our beauty to meanstream caucasians. Those who are still in that mindset do so by choice, because the evidence is overwhelming.
Ironically, while there are many Black African American women who love to wear their hair in natural styles; there are just as many Continental African women who seem to feel the need to wear wigs, or straighten their hair. It's almost as though they've become ashamed of what we are most proud of - our NATURAL African beauty.
I am a big fan of African movies on DVD. But I can't tell you how many times I've seen the feature star wearing a wig and contact lenses to lighten up their eyes. I don't understand what is happening in Africa. It seems as though they'd rather approximate the colonial monsters who took their land (and apparently their minds and culture) than stand for the timeless beauty we have given the world through our music, rhythm, philosophies, and color.
Oprah Winfrey recently decided to wear her hair in a NATURAL style, and the Ne-groes went nuts!! But then again, so did the meanstream media. They called it "wild" style. No doubt a veiled throwback to their closet prejudice against Black women. They couldn't understand how she got her hair like that. TMZ made some ignorant (as usual) remarks, while the house Ne-groes on the show laughed nervously and genuflected to the host (whatever his name is - "I'm a lawyer"-).
In the meantime, the comments about whether or not her hair had been "manipulated", followed by whether or not it was a weave, etc., went throughout Yahoo - and no doubt the other run-of-the mill social commentary engines. Thank goodness there were more "pro" comments drowning out the "cons". I was actually rather proud to find that there are sisters all over the US who were proud of Oprah for displaying her NATURAL beauty.
Let me say this to those of you who think it's better to be caught naked than NATURAL: Look out Negroes - you wannabe whites are about to reveal your "true colors". You are a throwback to the days of Oreos (not the cookies) who need to have validation from the white realm before they can embrace their own. You're the ones who will watch a commercial where some white woman paints her toenails blue, and be the next ones to wear blue toenail polish in recognition of the fact that you follow all things white; but won't take the same notice when some one Black comes up with a positive idea or image on TV - that is, not until the whites give their nod of approval. Then you're all over it.
In many instances Negroes will imitate the worst images a Black person can portray - i.e. "Black' blondes, or brick red hair, blue eye contact lens, and then wonder why the man you want is going after a white woman. Understand - no one wants an imitation. No one respects a person who hates herself.
We've actually become the original clown show when it comes to our hair. Our concept of beauty is based on everybody but ourselves. It's obvious that we don't like who we are, or what we look like when we are who we are. Or those cutting comments about little Gabby Douglass would not have been the dominant factor.
By the way Oprah looked beautiful and literally 10 years younger with her NATURAL. Going NATURAL keeps you young. And while one commentary stated it looked as though she had "manipulated' her hair, wearing a NATURAL hair style does not mean that you can't be creative or stylish with your coif. Frankly, it actually affords you more opportunity to come up with a great variety of ways of wearing NATURAL hair without bleaching it, wearing tracks, or relaxing (demoralizing) it.
Anywaaaaay! Gabby Douglass gets much props, as my Handsome Son (The One Sun Lion Ra) would say. He himself has recently completed an interview survey of Black women of all ages and walks of life who have decided to wear their hair NATURAL. Soon to be released on a Facebook near you.
While Gabby is not wearing a NATURAL, she is a Natural beauty, and is to be commended for her maturity, focus and for not allowing the ne-groes to rattle her. I truly hope that if you come across any of those negative growth (NE-GRO) people, and they make a hostile remark about either Gabby or Oprah, you will kindly remind them that our hair roots run deeper than the continent of Africa, and will continue to rise regardless of what they do to put it down.
BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!!
Stay Blessed &
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Gloria Dulan-Wilson New York Author, Writer & Speaker
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All this shows is the extent we still have to go to correct our self image. Most of the comments directed about Gabby's hair had very little to do with going natural; instead they were talking about her hair looking a mess; and it was mess. One didn't see the others sisters in the olympics with unkept hair.
Gymnasts are a portrayal of elegance and beauty. So within that context Gabby has to make sure she is as beautiful as possible. It doesn't matter whether she sports natural or processed hair. She has to be as beautiful as possible. If you think the American sisters were rough on her, you show red what the Europeans were saying about her. Their naming her a squirrel is how they saw her. Their is very little elegant about a squirrel. Someone should have been paying attention to this; either her mother or the family with whom she was staying.
I'm not taking anything away from her accomplishments, she was great and will only get better; and she is also very articulate. I have no doubt that someone will help her see this other side of herself.