Every now and then, something happens among black folks that reveals just how deeply wounded many of us remain in this, the 21st century. Such is the case with the persistent controversy over Olympic great Gabby Douglas and her hair. Throughout her historic gymnastic performances in the London Olympics, 16-year-old Gabby has epitomized black grace and beauty. But for some African Americans, apparently that’s not enough. They say she should have first made sure her hair was permed!


I’ve heard that some black women shun exercise for fear the sweat might mess up their hairdos. They’d rather risk developing heart problems and blowing up to 300 pounds than ruining a good perm.

Talk about misplaced priorities and mangled esteem!

For centuries, black people were taught to hate their skin color and kinky hair. With the small-minded brouhaha over hair and Gabby Douglas, we see that the lasting impact of slavery and history is, well, rearing its ugly head again.

If you think I seem ticked off, then check out this column below.