...to think about Alison Samuels rather obsessive meditations on other people's kids. But I was just surfing through PostBougie, so why not. This from Samuels second (!!) meditation on hair-care for other people's kids:
I thought long and hard before sitting down two weeks ago to write an article about the state of Zahara Jolie-Pitt's hair. I knew any discussion about hair and culture would spark an angry debate in the world of bloggers and beyond. Just ask Chris Rock. His new film, Good Hair, has brought him all kinds of criticism and drama, so at least I'm in good company. Days after my story hit the Web, the comments sections of our site was overrun with furious remarks, and blogs had a serious field day roasting me all that week.
Still, I'm undeterred by the venom shown to me on the Web. I continue to believe Angelina Jolie should take better care of Zahara's hair. Hey, if Maddox can get blond highlights and a Mohawk, Zahara can at least get a quick top knot and rubber band. Is that asking too much?
Yeah, actually, it is. Some fire from Latoya:
First of all, all of the Jolie-Pitt kids have some unique circumstances. In addition to the transracial adoption angle, the Jolie-Pitts are a nomadic family, settling in places for a while and then moving on. This means that they are all Third Culture Kids. They do not have a dominant society that they grew up in, which means that they may or may not absorb the cultural norms of any of the places they have lived. The children may grow up to feel allegiance to one particular place, or none at all. All this is to say that Zahara may not grow up identifying with the black American experience.No doubt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt is black. But in the global sense of the word, not in the American way Samuels applies in her piece. As many commenters pointed out in our original post about this, Z is not African-American. She was adopted from Ethiopia, and if Ms. Samuels is ever in DC, I would be more than happy to take her down to the U Street Corridor so she can see how many women from Ethiopia wear their hair.
Postbourgie basically nods along:
In addition to co-signing all of the above, I'd like to add: eff outta here.
In addition to "eff outta here," (which I wholeheartedly co-sign) I'd say the following: There are many reasons why it's wrong to presume that your particular, specific, individual narrative of blackness is The Only Narrative Of Blackness Ever In All History.