"Creamy Crack," Huh?

Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, is set to open in limited release this September, but buzz has been high since the film debuted at Sundance in January. Good Hair promises a candid look at African Americans’ self-perception, particularly as it relates to our age-old preoccupation with hair texture.

Black hair has been examined, ad nauseum, by cable networks like BET and TV One, scholars, journalists, beauty/barbershops and the chitlin’ circuit. The jury’s still out on where this documentary will fit into that constantly warmed-over narrative.

But now that the trailer has hit the ‘net, we all can weigh in on its promise (or lack thereof). What say you? Are you looking forward to hearing actresses like Nia Long, Lauren London, Raven Symone, and Tracie Thoms talk candidly about their weaves/anti-hair-straightening woes? Is Paul Mooney’s take on black hair of pressing relevance to you? Does this flick look like it’ll examine anything you didn’t already know? Would you really like to see Chris Rock travel to India and joke about black women robbing Indian women of the hair?



slb (aka Stacia L. Brown) is a writer, mother, and college instructor in Baltimore, MD. Check her out here: http://stacialbrown.com and here: http://beyondbabymamas.com.
  • Heh, so I posted this right after you.

    I’m rather hair obsessed, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this. And yes, it’s been done to death, but Rock is in a unique position — he has a personal stake in the conversation because of his daughter — but he’s not known for giving anyone quarter.

    Moreover, I really don’t think there’s too much to say on the topic, considering the amount of money black women spend on hair*. But I’m also approaching this from an outsider’s POV. Even though I was a creamy crack addict for most of my life, I never participated in the rituals of hair maintenance that most of my black women friends did. So from my perspective, this is also educational.

    And that joke about stealing the Indian woman’s hair was kinda funny, but also sad, considering that selling one’s hair in India is a sign that a woman is destitute.

    *Incidentally, I spend 3-4x more now that I’m nappy than when I was relaxed; but I did my own perms.

  • RtG

    I posted this a few minutes ago, too. I’m really looking forward to this doc. Hollywood actresses talking about their weaves openly is not something I’ve seen before. And yes the issue is not new, but Rock’s take on it will be. Also? He does social commentary better than just about anyone.

  • K.

    Now that I’ve seen the trailer I can’t WAIT to see this. I hope it helps to push this discussion out into the ‘mainstream.’

  • slb

    when i first heard about this doc, i thought it was beautiful that Chris Rock was invested in this discussion because he has daughters who are grappling with self-image. i still think that’s beautiful.

    it’s a great promotional angle, too. men don’t really wade into the fray of the good hair/bad hair discussion as much anymore (maybe because they don’t have as much stake now that conks and jheri curls aren’t nearly as prominent as they once were).

    it also looks like the production value of this documentary is really high and i love that.

    my point was that that until it opens, we don’t know whether it will contribute new points to the neverending Black Hair Discourse–not that it needs to. but it would be nice if it does. and *if* it does, i’m curious as to what those new points will be, b/c i really do feel like, as it relates to black women and their hair, i’ve (almost) heard it all.

  • ladyfresh

    Chris always has an interesting POV. That he did this for his daughters leans me towards it as well.

  • storm

    After watching the trailer, I’m in. I’ll pay to see celebs discussing their weaves — and hair issues — along with Chris Rock laying down his always insightful, and often hilarious commentary.

    Awww….that he’s doing this for his daughters.

  • bebe

    I think that this flick looks HILARIOUS. But does not look like it will reveal or analyze anything I don’t already know/conversate about with my friends and fam all the time. I don’t support relaxers, I think that they are terribly unhealthy and help perpetuate the white supremacist patriarchal culture in the U.S. But then again I stopped getting relaxers at age 15, about 6 years ago and it isn’t any harder to deal with my hair. Lets just say its not kinky. But I prefer the natural look. I think that Chris Rock had good intentions when making this but he is still Chris Rock, and can only be so critical beneath the comedy.But I love the idea of calling it “Creamy Crack”, its so true! I’ll be going to see it when it hits theaters.


  • I’m looking forward to it. I mean, how much comedy is really about “new” information as opposed to looking at things one already knows from a different light?

    That said, I sure as shit had never thought about the problem of fucking while wearing a weave, or having hair that is untouchable. Damn.

  • SA

    I’ve seen this trailer at a few other places last week and ignored them all not really caring all that much about the movie. But now that I see the trailer I think I will go out and see. Or at least get the DVD when that comes out. At the very least you’ll get a good laugh out of it, from both sides of the hair debate. And if it changes a few minds on the “good hair” issue then it’s done it’s job. At least I would hope.

    And damn woman, a layaway program?

  • KXB

    “And that joke about stealing the Indian woman’s hair was kinda funny, but also sad, considering that selling one’s hair in India is a sign that a woman is destitute.”

    Mmmm…. no. It is common for Hindus to get their heads shaved at least once in their lives. The age varies by region. When I was just a 2 year old boy, I had my head shaved. My sister had her head shaved at around the same age. It is also traditional in some Hindu circles for the eldest son in the family to shave his head again as an adult, after his father dies.

  • Doesn’t look like anything new. I’d catch it when it comes on cable.
    Honestly, I’m all good hair and (light skin vs. dark skin) out. I’ve read tons to books about hair and skin maintenance as well as sociological tombs about their significance to black women.
    But this is just a preview – I’m still curious to see if he could stumble upon an answer about how to dislodge the notion of ‘good hair’ from our collective consciouses. A tall order I know. Then, my short order is that he at least he doesn’t make too many jokes at our hair’s expense. That insight about how kinky hair is worth nothing, or telling the Indian Woman to run the other way if he sees Black women? Kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

    Jeez, I’m chatty tonight.

  • I give Chris props for putting addressing the issue – a real life follow up to his joke about doing whatever it takes to keep his daughter off the stripper pole. The discussion of Black women’s hair has have been done to death in the pages of Essence, Ebony, and Jet – how many movies are there that have delved into this subject and gotten a nationwide theatrical release? Hopefully Chris will pull in people from across the racial and economic spectrum to see it – and the issue won’t be so “mysterious.” Can’t wait to see it…

    And I’m glad is issue of “weave sex” has been put out there. I jumped a couple of feet the 1st time I felt those “tracks” when getting down back in the day. I laughed out loud when I saw that on the trailer.

  • lily

    I had to laugh at the parts about ‘weave sex’. However, I know women without weaves but spend a lot of money on their hair and they are just as wary. It is not like a shampoo commercial in their bedrooms, either. After spending $75-100.00 on a blowout and buying $25.00 bottles of shampoo and conditioner, the first inclination is not to have the style mussed up by a pair of curious fingers.

    Things are diff for the wash-n-go crowd but for those who spend a lot of money in a salon…watch it, buddy. 😉

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