Sundance honored Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair over the weekend with A Special Jury Prize for U.S. Documentaries. Apparently, Good Hair was one the most talked about projects up there in Utah. And that's no surprise. Black folks love or hate us some "good hair". The documentary, inspired by Rock's daughter's disappointment in not having "good hair", is a witty and intelligent look at the issue of "good hair" and why it still plagues, shapes, inspires and disheartens the black community. When I first heard about the documentary my immediate reaction was "Isn't this a female issue? Why isn't a woman spearheading a project like this?" Then I snapped into eight-rock deep reality: I know plenty of men who will only date or marry or compliment women whose hair shows very little evidence of west African DNA [naturally or synthentically]. Then there are men who demand for the female partners to "pretty up the hair" [and I have examples, just ask]. Not to mention the fashion industry [dominated by men] that continues to rehash that same standard of beauty for black women which include [what some of my relatives innocently call] "soft hair". I look forward to Chris Rock's take on this die-hard and will-never-die worrisome disease called "good hair". Congrats to Rock and his scribe Nelson George for bringing hair front and center.
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.