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Cornrows, French Braids and Life

Cornrows, French Braids, and Life

As a white mom learns about her black child's hair, both come of age.

I knew nothing about African-American hair care when Deja, my first foster child, was placed with me at age 2. I fell in love with her, and I adopted her, even though that wasnít my original plan. Her adoption was finalized last year, and I now know a lot more about her hair. I love doing Dejaís hair, especially now that sheís 6 and willingly sits still. She likes it to look good.

I want to be known, among other things, as a white mom who knows how to do black girlsí hair.. When Iím alone, Iím just another Berkeley mom. With my black daughter and my multiracial foster kids in tow, Iím self-conscious. I imagine that people notice and remember us. Thereís a part of me that wants to be seen as Superwoman. Itís not enough that I care for flocks of kids with no partner to help me. Iíve now demonstrated that I can also do hair, at least well enough for Dejaís school friends to notice: ďYour mom changed your hair again?Ē

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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