When the late Dh. Vijayatara did her research some years ago on the experience of Black people in predominantly white Buddhist Sanghas (spiritual communities), one of the issues that kept coming up was the need white people express to touch our hair. Many white people seem to have an unhealthy fascination with our hair, and they also seem to feel they have every right to touch it – often without our permission.
(My experience was somewhat different from this - I often had Black people wanting to touch my hair. But that's a whole other story.)
Today, I really wanted to share this very positive post by a white mother asking other white people not to touch her Black daughter's hair, and explaining why it's disrespectful to do so. As she says, it can affect the child's self-esteem.
I understand the relationship between white mothers and their Black children, and/or the children's hair, can be difficult. I find it refreshing and inspiring to read this white parent's words about the need to respect her child's personal space.
White parents and other white people are more likely to pay attention to this message coming from one of their own. I only wish they would listen when we say similar things.
I welcome your comments below.