Everybody Panic!

My Hair Is Laid Like … the Women of Baltimore

This week powerful black women, doing things, who are taking care of business (or not) have emerged during the media frenzy surrounding the horrific death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who sustained injuries that led to his death while in police custody. In this painful tragedy, it’s hard to find a positive strand to cling to, but thankfully in Baltimore, sisters (and their versatile hair) truly are doing it for themselves, and are front and center in the fight for justice and peace in this debacle.

Unfortunately, when you have women at the front of anything someone is going to say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah … she’s smart and stuff but how does my penis feel about her?” Despite no one … NO ONE … caring about your dumb boner. But less bonerific conversations did evolve online and on social media surrounding the hair of these successful women. Because, while it’s probably too late for you to go back to college, get a law degree and become Marilyn Mosby, you can probably take a photo of her to your salon and get her signature look.

This inaugural column, My Hair Is Laid Like …, is about black women being great and their hair, kind of just being there, being great with them. In this week’s column we take a look at the women of Baltimore with this unscientific, completely meaningless list of them ranked by how their hair was laid.

5. My Hair Is Laid Like Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Cute, But Unclear.

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I had high hopes for Rawlings-Blake and her hairdo, which are both very ambitious. But then she called the youths “thugs,” and seemed powerless to do anything about how Freddie Gray’s death, the subsequent investigations were unfolding, the protests, the riots and stuff being on fire. Said Rev. Jamal Bryant about her when I interviewed him earlier this week:

“To call these children thugs when her team obviously forgot a year from now, when there’s an election, these thugs will be in voting booths,” Bryant said. “She forgot she’s not a politician—she’s a black politician. You can’t plead the center. You can’t pander to who’s writing the contribution checks at the expense of your base. She’s going to have to do a goodwill tour through the hood to clean that up.”

4. My Hair Is Laid Like Major Gen. Linda Singh. About That Life.

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Currently running the national guard deployed in Baltimore, I actually know Linda in real life and Linda is an amazing person with an amazing story. (Whenever you’re ready to finish writing that book, Linda! I got your back!) No one should be talking about her hair ever, but only about how great and inspirational she is. We both were speakers at a women’s brunch in Baltimore a few years back and came away incredibly impressed with one another, although I do not consider myself anywhere near as impressive as her. But since this is a superficial post about hair … I could never get a slick back ponytail going, ever. My ponytails are always, always, always look like sloppy garbage, but I’m not willing to enlist in the military, like Linda did, to learn how to properly fix one.

3. My Hair Is Laid Like Marilyn Mosby’s Press Director Rochelle Ritchie. Curly, But Always Concise.

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Yet another afro I wish I had, but am unable to grow myself. But if you watched the beginning of the press conference you know that Ritchie and her hair were both saying all the right things.

2. My Hair Is Laid Like Whoever This Is In the Far Right.

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Seriously. That’s how I wear my hair 90 percent of the time, but without the bang.

1. My Hair Is Laid Like Marilyn Mosby. Kissed by the Flat Irons of the Gods.

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Did you notice she didn’t come here to screw around? Neither did her blow out. Everything about Mosby sounds cool. She’s the youngest state attorney in the nation. She went to Tuskegee. Her husband is on city council. She has two daughters. She made that face several times throughout the press conference. She looks friendly but she also looks like she might destroy you with one flex of an eyebrow. As this delightful fool on Twitter said, Shonda Rhimes can’t type up this pilot fast enough. Learn more about Mosby here.

My Hair Is Laid Like … is a new column where I talk about people freaking out over black women being great. Why won’t you just let us be great world? Damn.

(Photos: Screenshots / YouTube)

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5 thoughts on “My Hair Is Laid Like … the Women of Baltimore

  1. Deborah Glymph says:

    Excuse me, but a young man died! Baltimore burned’ Why oh why would you put pen to paper to lighten the moment ? These women are wonderful for who they are, and we need to talk about their brains, not their hair. Please enlighten me if I’m wrong

    • I understand your point-of-view, Deborah. I’ve written (and edited) so much this week about this story that was depressing, I just wanted to write a piece that was fun. I can understand your opinion though.

  2. Hey there. I met you at Blogger Week, yesterday. When you mention this post, I knew I had to read it. Sometimes unconventional post (which I happen to love) sheds light on judgment, that play in the background, of the expectation that we have of women of color.

    Beauty will always be a contender to brains, because beauty unlike intellect is notice immediately.

    Great post! And thank you for inspiring me to rebrand my website. It’ll be up in a few weeks.

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