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What are non-negative terms African Americans and other Blacks use to describe Black hair?

 
 
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2020 05:31 pm
Hi. I'm curious about this and I'm doing research on this. Someone on this site suggested to me a while ago that I should start a thread about this if I remember right.

I was told by a few people, including some African Americans, that "nappy" is a racist, offensive and derogatory term for Black hair.

As an African American I didn't know that. I've been using the term "nappy" to describe Black hair for years.

Black hair, as most people know I presume, is usually coarse, wooly and/or kinky. Some people refer to it as "scouring pad hair". It's basically the opposite of White hair which is usually straight. People in other cultures have straight hair so it's not just a "White thing".

I know in recent times some African Americans describe Black hair as "natural". I guess that's a PC term.

What other non-racist, non-offensive and non-derogatory terms do African Americans use for Black hair?

What non-racist, non-offensive and non-derogatory terms do Black Africans, Black West Indians and Blacks in other parts of the world use for Black hair?

I don't know what terms Blacks outside of the U.S. use for Black hair, negative or not.

Please help. Thank you.
 
JGoldman10
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2020 10:59 pm
Are there any other Black members of this site who can please answer this question?
jcboy
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 03:31 am
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

Are there any other Black members of this site who can please answer this question?


They're probably ignoring you because your screaming at them in big bold letters Razz
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 06:00 am
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

It's basically the opposite of White hair which is usually straight. People in other cultures have straight hair so it's not just a "White thing".



Actually not all whites have straight hair - my daughter has curly hair - when she was little it was tight little curls, now with it longer it is looser curls.

She wants to straighten it all the time - I love her curls though.

I used to want curls when I was younger and would curl it or get perms so I would have curly hair - I think people just want hair that someone else has rather than enjoy the beauty of their hair type.

Looking up in google this is what I found:
Don't call my crown “nappy.” ... Natural Hair is Not Kinky, Nappy, Or Difficult — So Let's Retire Those Words.

It doesn't say anything specific on what to call it other than natural.
https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/04/197457/offensive-natural-hair-terms

izzythepush
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 06:04 am
@JGoldman10,
What’s wrong with curly?

It’s not like white people have special terms to describe their hair other than straight or curly.

And as already been pointed out the term nappy is derogative and offensive.

Over here nappy is what you call diaper, so I can see why it’s offensive.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 06:18 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

What’s wrong with curly?



Makes sense -- African American curls can differ quite a bit as well as people that are white - can have really tight curls, looser curls or wavy.

When I see say a cute little African American girl (same as a little white girl) and they have these tight little bouncy curls (perhaps because of my girl when she was little and how I loved those curls) - I usually always say I just love her curls!
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 11:24 am
@izzythepush,
Hello Izzy. I'm not talking about White folks. Yes some White people, African Americans and people in other cultures have curly hair but I'm not talking about that.

When we Americans see or hear or think of the term "nappy" we think of African American hair terms.

What you Brits call diapers has nothing to what terms we Americans use to describe people's hair. That's irrelevant.
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 11:36 am
@JGoldman10,
Is it irrelevant?

The fact that the term has another meaning could be one of the reasons so many find it offensive.

One could argue that the killing of George Floyd is irrelevant outside the US.

That hasn’t stopped BLM protests around the World.

This is the 21st century, not the 19th, what happens in one country can have an impact in another.
JGoldman10
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 11:43 am
@Linkat,
What do you mean Black hair isn't kinky?

From https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/kinky :

"From kinky hair: hair with tight curls that is also called crisp, frizzy, and nappy."

I've seen Black hair referred to as "Afro-textured hair":

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro-textured_hair

From the above link:

"English adjectives such as 'woolly', 'kinky', 'nappy', or 'spiralled' have been used to describe natural afro-textured."

From https://www.allure.com/story/is-nappy-hair-a-negative-term:

"Nappy. The term is one that has been used as a negative description of very tightly coiled, kinky black hair. 'In its derogatory form, nappy is a negative way to refer to the dry, coarse, tangled characteristics of Afro-textured hair,' ...."

Black hair IS often generally coarse, wooly or kinky.

If it's not "kinky" then what the heck do you call it?

"Kinky" is not a derogatory term.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/kinky :

"(of hair) closely or tightly curled."
JGoldman10
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 11:45 am
@Linkat,
I never said all Whites have straight hair. I know curly-haired Caucasian people exist.
Some African Americans have naturally straight hair. They don't perm their hair.
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 11:52 am
@jcboy,
I'm not the only Black person who uses this site. There was one African American man I've seen here in this site. Years ago I tried to PM him to ask if he could help me with an old thread. He never got back to me.

I'd like to think him and I are not the only African Americans on this site. I'd like to think there are others, but I don't know them. I'd like to think there are Black Africans, Black West Indians and Blacks from other parts of the world outside of the U.S. who use this site but I don't know of any here.

I was not "screaming" I was emphasizing my post.
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 12:01 pm
How do I politely draw the attention of other Black members of this site to this thread?

I know Rebel is Black, maybe he can help me.



JGoldman10
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 12:04 pm
@izzythepush,
We are talking about hair terms not homicide cases.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 12:29 pm
@JGoldman10,
Hello - I am not saying black hair is not one way or another. I simply posted something from a black woman on what they do not want their hair called.

As I cited it seemed the only descriptive she wanted was natural. I am not a black woman so I did not feel I was in a position to describe what a black woman would prefer their hair type called.

You wanted something inoffensive to call African American hair - since no black person responded, I did a search to see what is the preferred way one would want their hair type called and I got what NOT to call it. You pretty much listed everything a black woman would not want their called.

You know some black woman - why don't you ask. Or better yet, if you really want to experiment - why don't you say to the next black woman you see "I really love your kinky, frizzy, woolly nappy hair! It is beautiful!" But invite me first, because I would love to she her response!
Positiveplus
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 01:08 pm
@JGoldman10,
Nice thread, I didn't know that the word "nappy" was bad, but sadly I can't suggest any other words.
I am just here to say thanks to the person that taught me a new word today! I will follow this thread to get to know some others terms, thanks for creating it.
JGoldman10
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 02:18 pm
@Linkat,
I think you're being a bit sexist.

I didn't ask specifically about non-negative terms Black females use for Black hair. I didn't specify that I wanted Black females to respond to this thread. I would like some Black males to respond to this thread.

I wanted anyone Black who is a member of this site to respond to this thread.

Why do you assume it's only Black females who get offended by hair terms?

I know a Black male I used to interact with on a certain chat site I frequent. He told me "nappy" is an offensive term.
JGoldman10
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 02:23 pm
@Positiveplus,
Hi. If you don't mind me asking, are you Black?
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 02:25 pm
@izzythepush,
I start a harmless thread about something pertaining to Black culture and it seems like you want ruin it by bringing up some negative current event.
0 Replies
 
Rebelofnj
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 02:30 pm
@JGoldman10,
I'm not black. I don't appear black nor do I consider myself black.

I previously said I was non-white, but I never specified my ethnicity.

I can't help you with this question.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2020 02:30 pm
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

I think you're being a bit sexist.

I didn't ask specifically about non-negative terms Black females use for Black hair. I didn't specify that I wanted Black females to respond to this thread. I would like some Black males to respond to this thread.



Well buddy that is all I found on the subject. Typically (of course not always) women tend to be more conscience about their hair - maybe why it was all about women in their responses. But feel free to try it with a man then if you want to be all inclusive.
0 Replies
 
 

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