Crazy Hair Day

written by Love Isn’t Enough contributor Catherine Anderson; originally published in Hip Mama Magazine (Issue 44-Creativity Issue-October 2009)

When crazy hair day is posted
as this week’s Friday activity
(last week was a picture of your pet,
the week prior a souvenir…)
you, the mother of the only
African-American child
in the preschool class
has the right to
pause
and consider
your approach.

Do you comment,
boycott,
suggest an alternative,
adapt
or educate?
You consider
each of the above
in three second
intervals
and land
on the combination
you are most familiar with:
adapt and educate

When your son’s hair
does not invite
barrettes, gel, or braids
you have reason to consider
the value of
crazy hair day.

On the Thursday before
you mention to the teacher in your most
diplomatic
engaging
and cautiously insistent
voice that it would be appreciated if the class
could consider options for all kinds of hair
for success tomorrow.

Excuse me?

Well, crazy hair day can be a little
complicated for tight curly hair
like his.

A flash of realization washes over her face.

Oh my, I hadn’t considered..

It’s fine.
We’ll figure it out.
They have hair sprays
you tell her, in pink and blue..

Your scour the shelves of the drug store
and explain to the manager
wearing the toupee
your predicament.
45 minutes later
as the groceries melt in the trunk
you find it,
the perfect solution
tucked behind the blush
and the tanning cream

***

Three days later and Sam still has
silver sparkle intergalactic eyeshadow
in his hair-
in five
long
Star Wars pilot Darth Vader
stripes.

It was a huge success.
and lasted longer then the braids,
the gel, the rubber bands and
all the other
Caucasian hair accouterments.

Crazy.

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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