Chris Rock’s new movie “Good Hair” about African-American women and their hair is on my must-see list. It could provide me insights into my biracial children. They are boys, but I see possibilities. The movie follows Rock as he tries to answer his daughter's question: "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?"
First things first: I’m white, my wife is black. With that context, we can proceed.
My mother-in-law is visiting for two weeks. My wife is away on business and she is helping me care for the boys, ages 2 and 3. Naturally, she’s had lots of questions about the boys’ care – what they eat, wear and need for school. I had answers for everything – except one.
“What should I do with Alexander’s hair?”
I searched for some shred of information about caring for his thick curly hair. It is awesome hair, but a total mystery to me. My only curl is a cowlick.
“I think there’s something in the bathroom…”
“OK, look, let me be honest: I leave this issue to the black side of the family.”
My mother-in-law paused, then burst out laughing. Normally, I avoid drawing such a racial dividing line of knowledge. But when it comes to hair, I make an exception. I’ll never forget how angry my wife was when, years ago, I once asked if her new braids were real. Oh boy, wrong thing to say!
Anyway, back to Alexander. Calls were made, some special spray was located and Alexander now spends several minutes each morning having his hair done. I look on, baffled.
Chris Rock, help me.