How to be better Black elders than our elders were Part 1

By not asking Black women if they comb their hair or their hair is “done”.

The state of a Black woman’s hair is sensitive and is honestly no business of anyone but the woman who is growing it. I lose respect for anyone that asks me when I’m going to comb or do my hair. If I am out my hair is done. We already live in a world that tells us by default that our hair is unprofessional. The hardest thing is when it comes internally. 

You don’t get to tell someone that they aren’t taking care of themselves and expect a respectful response. It’s like me asking you did you brush your teeth this morning, but with an added layer of internalized self-hate. Don’t expect anything but me telling you how my hair is done,until you back off.

The older generation has yet to do is realize why they do this. They were brought up with respectability politics of Black hair. To the point where if someone’s hair isn’t “neat” or “presentable ” it isn’t done. They feel they need to tell you to get it done because that’s what they feel is needed for survival. They mean well, but they don’t realize how words leave scars.

Not my generation.

 We are working on breaking that generational curse. We’re done playing hair politics with White people AND older Black people. We’re not cutting our locs for a job. We’re letting our hair grow, we’re letting it curl,we’re perming we’re buying wigs,we’re doing it all and if you have a problem with that. That’s on you.

Apologizing to our kids.

How can we expect our kids and those younger to grow into responsible adults who hold themselves accountable when we don’t. You aren’t just right because you’re a parent, or because you’re older. If your child realizes the biggest people in their lives can make mistakes. Then they won’t feel so bad about making them themselves.

No more: “Oh I got food ready, I have Mcdonald’s money, or let’s go to the store and buy you snacks.” No, we’re showing our kids the kind of person they can be one day. One that holds themselves accountable. And never has so much pride that they can’t apologize.

Stop telling your kids they can’t do white stuff in your house.

Stop saying this to your kids. There is nothing that can separate a kid from their Blackness more than their parents and older Black people in their lives rejecting them because of what they love. Just because you don’t know Black people that do it, doesn’t mean it’s a thing we don’t do.

I as an older weeb, almost always compliment Black kids wearing nerdy shirts, especially when they’re with their parents. Because even if they’ve never met a Black nerdy adult, I need them to know that we are normal and that their hobbies are valid. And I want their parents to see adults that have the same hobbies their kids like. No, it’s not just your kid and their friends. We are Blerds, we are grown, and we are out here. 

You don’t want your kid to move out of your house and be so happy that they finally live in a place where they can enjoy their hobbies without your judgment. 

You don’t need to get it, that ok. You don’t even have to do much to encourage them. Treat their hobbies just like you would things that you’re more familiar with. Just don’t make them feel like an oddball in the only place they should feel comfortable, in their home.

That simple.

Ask them questions, show interest. Maybe watch a K-Drama with your daughter or watch a shonen anime with your son. Nerds love sharing what love with those around them. Do some research, how about taking them to a convention or to a random anime movie showing. 

Oh and leave Black alternative kids alone. You think Black kids should be into rock, just means you don’t know your own history. We created the style and a lot of the subgenres within it. The history of rock has been pretty white-washed. So just take it as your kid taking back their own culture. You should see rock the same way you see jazz. A beautiful style that we created.Regardless of who the forefront people are.

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