Earlier this year a picture of a white father taking down his black daughter’s braids went viral. This reminded me of an interview with Clifton Green from 2009. Read his story about black hair care and its labor of love.
“Originally from Ethiopia, Miriam Tigist Green, 4, was adopted by Emory professor Clifton Green and his wife in 2005. This is her hair unbraided, before her father applies his weekly loving touch. His care and attention to detail show mastery of a task few white men ever contemplate. Dad, Clifton and mom, Jennifer initially were uncertain what to do with Miriam’s hair after bringing her home. They considered just letting it go, as a sign of freedom. They wanted others to accept her, regardless of her looks. The couple believed that Miriam’s hair was a strong link to her African roots, so they ultimately chose to neaten it the way they saw in many African-American families.
Green researched the best products to keep Miriam’s hair from drying and breaking. He noticed and copied styles he saw on other kids. With practice, he became skilled. “I had learned to braid rope necklaces in junior high,” he says. “But this is hair, not string.” At one point, Clifton Green stopped trying new styles on Miriam before church, because haste led to bad hairdos. “We wanted her to know her hair isn’t a burden, but something really wonderful, something beautiful to be celebrated,” her mother says…..” Joey Ivansco / AJC For the rest of the article and more pics go here >Atlanta Journal Constitution
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