Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr wrote an open letter to African American women yesterday in the Miami Herald. The letter is in response to Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair’ documentary, which has sparked a new dialogue on the issue of Black women and their hair.
The letter reads: “The very notion of ‘good hair’ springs from that same wellspring of self-denigration that offers the N-word as a fraternal greeting and once filled our newspapers with ads for skin-lightening creams. It suggests the difficulty of loving oneself when one uses as a yardstick of worth another culture’s physical standards.”
Chris Rock’s inspiration to create the documentary was a question from his daughter: ‘Why don’t I have good hair?” Pitts had a similar experience with his son, but realizes that it is different for a woman. So he takes the step he feels is needed by writing this letter to his sisters. “You are the rock and salvation of our people, the faith that remains when all hope is gone. So if it’s about the need to be beautiful, maybe it’s time somebody told you:
You already are. You always were.”