The erasure of Quvenzhané’s name is an attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to step around and contain her blackness. Yes, sometimes black people have names that are difficult to pronounce. There aren’t many people of European descent named Shaniqua or Jamal. Names are as big a cultural marker as brown skin and kinky hair, and there has long been routine backlash against both of those things (see: perms, skin bleaching creams, etc.). This insistence on not using Quvenzhané’s name is an extension of that “why aren’t you white?” backlash.
Calling Quvenzhané “Little Q” is a lazy way to keep from having to deal with the discomfort that race causes. It is easier to be colorblind, to simply turn a blind eye to the differences that have torn this nation apart for centuries than it is to wade through those choppy waters. And Quvenzhané’s very existence is enough to make the societal majority uncomfortable. She is talented, successful, beautiful, happy, loved, and adored–all things that many people don’t figure that little black girls with “black” names could, or should, be. Their answer? Let’s make her more palatable. If she insists on not fitting the mold of the ghetto hoodrat associated with women with “urban” names, let’s take her own urban name away from her.
at least that’s what i would have called it if i could have. this is from my latest at Uptown Magazine, “The Oscars, Quvenzhane and the C-Word.” check it out!
since so many of this blog’s followers are black and female, i thought i’d share this piece i wrote about Hollywood’s treatment and disregard of Quvenzhane Wallis’ name. check it out if you can!
Greetings brothers and sisters!
The spirit of Harriet Tubman came to me a few moments ago and smacked me in the face and said ‘how dare you dishonor your ancestors by not giving your comrades in this hair struggle a little hook up on these awesome shirts you’re selling?!’
I have seen the error of my ways and am pleased to off you all a 15% discount on your ENTIRE order at brokeymcpoverty.bigcartel.com with code HTUB15! good through the end of the month!
run run run! go go go! DON’T MAKE HARRIET TUBMAN COME AFTER YOU! she has a heavy hand :-(
i didn’t realize my inbox had gotten so beefy during my laziness! lol
responses coming yall! thanks for your patience!
Anonymous said: when i wash my hair it gets so dry and dull
ah, the eternal natural struggle!
also, i wrote some tips on how i keep my own hair moisturized. check it out here! good luck!
sedimentary-hurricanes said: I don't have any satin scarves, can I use silk?
absolutely! silk and satin are much easier on the hair than cotton and other materials. neither will suck moisture out of your hair, potentially causing breakage. wrap it on up!
adorableblerd said: What is (and would you recommend) training one's hair? I ask because I currently live in an environment where my choice of styles (e.g. frohawk) are seen by those I care about as "nappy and unkempt" because it isn't properly trained
hmm. i don’t think i’ve ever heard of “training” one’s hair. i did a quick google search and found this discussion on training natural hair to curl at Curly Nikki. hopefully it’ll help! does anyone else have anything to chime in?
and if i may say, re: resolving the “nappy and unkempt” issue—it seems like the only things to resolve are the unkempt part (if it’s truly unkempt) and caring about how others see your hair. MUCH easier for me to type than it is to just stop caring, especially when it comes to people you care about. but, it’s worth it to try. those who really love and care about you should be able to accept all of your natural self; the beauty they love in you shines through regardless of what your hair is doing. or at least it should.
going natural is an exercise for us, the ones who choose to stop following societal norms, and the ones in our lives, who must also release themselves from the same norms. hair is just hair, and i urge you to do with it what makes you happy, but try to take inventory of whether or not you’re doing it for yourself, or for someone else.