For Black Dudes Who Hate Trump, Love Black Women, and Have Fucked Up Hairlines
A few years back, I was at my favorite bar in Brooklyn. I had just broken up with my too-young, too-attractive girlfriend, and I was in my feelings.
The bartender, a Black woman who knew me and my ex, looked at me for a moment and said, “You know, to look at you, I wouldn’t have thought you dated Black women.”
“Seriously? Why?” I ask.
“I don’t know,” she replied. “You just look like we aren’t your thing. I figured you for white girls.”
I could have pretended to be flabbergasted, but it’s not the first time I heard some version of this. When I got divorced, I called my mother to break the news. The first thing she said was, “Stupid motherfucker! Who is the white bitch?”
“Mom, you know that calling me motherfucker means… You know what, nevermind.”
For the record, I have never dated or been in a relationship with a white woman. I say this not to brag; there is no flex here. I don’t care where anyone finds love, but I just want to set the record straight.
I once had a conversation with a group of folks in the same bar that ended with being called a Black gentrifier. I lived in a boarding house. I shared a bathroom and a kitchen with three strangers. I wasn’t gentrifying shit.
But still, it was clear that I was giving off a very specific vibe.
As time passed, I realized there was at least one glaring reason for all these negative assumptions about me—my hair. More specifically, my hairline.
I wasn’t kind to my hair as a youth. I died it, fried it, braided it, twisted it, locked it, and later served it a big old bowl of deep depression and stress (there was also a pretty bloody screwup with a straight razor, but that’s a story for another day). While my hairline isn’t as bad as it once was, it never fully recovered.
It’s a poorly kept secret that Black folks have a powerful connection to their hair. It’s often a demonstration of who we are as individuals. More than just our tastes, we can also often represent our political leaning and financial status. For Black men, this information is often communicated in the geometry of our hairline.
There is a cross-section of Black men who notoriously have the worst hairlines possible. Black conservatives and Black men who refuse to date, Black women. Whether it is some sort of genetic disposition or the ancestors' karmic retribution, we’ll never know. Caught up in this unfortunate indictment lies thousands of good Black men ostracised because of a few bad seeds.
We are the baby in the bathwater.
So, to prove once and for all that even the best Black dudes can have janky assed hair. I present the good dude shitty hair all-stars.
Don Cheadle is an amazing actor. From Hotel Rwanda to The Avengers, his range is literally unlimited. Take a look at his Twitter feed, and you will also see he is socially and politically engaged in a manner that doesn’t fit his hair. Don has essentially been cheating the hair gods for years with his top-of-the-head lineup only rivaled by Stephen A. Smith, but nobody has ever given him shit for it. You know why? Because he’s fucking awesome.
Who doesn’t like Lebron besides Jordan stans, and Kobe stans, and Dan Gilbert, and Pat Riley. On top of Lebron being arguably the greatest basketball player ever, his philanthropy and outspokenness on social issues make him a favorite, even if you have never seen him dunk a ball. Meanwhile, his hair journey has been all over the map. He’s gone from balding in the most unfortunate ways to some hair voodoo that gave him the sharpest hairline in the league and back again. Unlike Don, we laughed at this shit regularly because… it was fucking hilarious. But even with his absolute refusal to come home, Lebron is King.
One of the greatest American authors and activists of all time, Baldwin is a Black/gay icon. His work has been studied and emulated for over fifty years. Even in death, his relevance to the issues of today only grows. He is a hero to me and many others. So much so that I pray that I don’t get dragged for commenting on his hair. But seriously though, look at this. There is so much going on. There are peaks, valleys, and even a peninsula in the front. That said, this is the hair of a man who has way more important shit going on than his hair. Honestly, we should all be rocking a Baldwin.
Think of these men the next time you snatch some poor dude's soul because he has a shitty hairline. We’re good people; we vote Democrat, and we love Black women too. Hell, I married two of them! Sorry, that was a terrible joke. I’m still a decent dude though.
Please don’t drag me.