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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Two Videos Of Nigerian Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Talking About Socio-Cultural & Political Aspects Of Black People's Hair

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post presents information about Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and showcases two YouTube videos of interviews that feature Ms. Adichie talking about socio-cultural and political aspects of Black people's hair.

Selected comments from these videos' discussion threads are included in this post.

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The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for her cultural legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
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These are only two out of a number of other YouTube videos of interviews with or speeches by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in which she talks about Black hair.

Although Ms. Adichie wears her hair in almost the same natural style in both of these videos, she wears different natural hairstyles in many of her other YouTube videos that I've watched. In some other YouTube videos, Ms. Adichie wears an African head wrap and in one earlier YouTube video she wears a long natural-looking weave.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/01/igbos-comments-about-names-beginning.html for a related pancocojams post entitled "Nigerian Igbos' Comments About Names Beginning With "Chi" & Comments About The Frequent Use Of Certain Igbo Names"

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INFORMATION ABOUT CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
From http://www.cerep.ulg.ac.be/adichie/cnabio.html
"Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born on 15 September 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents, Grace Ifeoma and James Nwoye Adichie. While the family's ancestral hometown is Abba in Anambra State, Chimamanda grew up in Nsukka, in the house formerly occupied by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. Chimamanda's father, who is now retired, worked at the University of Nigeria, located in Nsukka. He was Nigeria's first professor of statistics, and later became Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University. Her mother was the first female registrar at the same institution.

Chimamanda completed her secondary education at the University's school, receiving several academic prizes. She went on to study medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the University's Catholic medical students.

At the age of nineteen, Chimamanda left for the United States. She gained a scholarship to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia for two years, and she went on to pursue a degree in communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University, where she also wrote articles for the university journal, the Campus Lantern. While in Connecticut, she stayed with her sister Ijeoma, who runs a medical practice close to the university.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie graduated summa cum laude from Eastern in 2001, and then completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

It is during her senior year at Eastern that she started working on her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, which was released in October 2003. The book has received wide critical acclaim: it was shortlisted for the Orange Fiction Prize (2004) and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (2005).

Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (also the title of one of her short stories), is set before and during the Biafran War. It was published in August 2006 in the United Kingdom and in September 2006 in the United States. Like Purple Hibiscus, it has also been released in Nigeria.

Chimamanda was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005-2006 academic year, and earned an MA in African Studies from Yale University in 2008. In 2011-2012, she was awarded a fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, which allowed her to finalize her third novel, Americanah. The book was released to great critical acclaim in 2013.

Chimamanda is now married and has a daughter. She divides her time between Nigeria, where she regularly teaches writing workshops, and the United States."....
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This article continues with a list of awards that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has received.
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Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimamanda_Ngozi_Adichie for a Wikipedia article about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS
Example #1: Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on love, race and hair



Channel 4 News, Published on Apr 10, 2013

Award winning African author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells Jon Snow why her latest book Americanah mirrors some of the central issues of her own life; race, immigration and the power of hair.
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Selected comments from this video's discussion thread (with numbers assigned for referencing purposes only)
1. Kai Travelmaker, 2013
"No we can't stop talking about race… There's no such thing as color-blindness." Chimamanda hit the nail on the head! Will be getting my copy of the book."

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2. welll?, 2014
"whats the name of the book?"

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3. ckent ckucklekek, 2014
"Americanah"

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4. diouranke, 2014
"to hear this staunchly british guy talking about his mother wearing wigs and weavesm box braids lol really interesting"

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5. Adam Stein, 2015
"Yeah that was one of my favorite parts of the interview because I felt like he was trying to get out of his comfort zone in a good way. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit though haha"

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6. Sharp and Smart, 2017
"The interviewer seemed very condescending on his questions on hair"

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7. Tirsit Endeshaw, 2014
"I really like your saying about the society image 'straight hair is beautiful'... I never thought of it as an influence of the western. what a thoughtful women. I like the way you expressed it as well."

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8. Ishta Kutesa Atukunda, 2014
"L'dOL when she taught him what Afro Kinky is! hehehe..."

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9. Xolisa Mahlakahlaka, 2014
"Jon Snow knows nothing! Why not let the lady complete a single thought?!"

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10. mtnprivy, 2014
"Spending so much time on one's hair means that this person doesn't have more important things to do with her time/money. Of course that is a man's viewpoint. Perhaps there is something more important about hair than I have ever heard articulated. I am sure there are MANY cultural things that white hillbillies (my culture) spend their time on that also seems not really worth the time. I have always had a question in my mind "what is REALLY a good use of my time?" Today I chose to hear this lady talk about "having only one story" and that was absolutely worth my time. We form our habits, then our habits form us.

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11. Ikeoluwa Onasanya, 2016
"+mtnprivy That makes soooooo much sense. 'We form habits and then our habits form us.'"

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12. Maryse Matoko, 2017
"mtnprivy African natural hair has been mistreated for centuries: straightened, ironed, despised, shamed. her love for her hair can be paralleled with her love of herself, of Black self-love in a world where the standard for beauty is White, straight hair, blonde and extremely thin. It's way more serious than you think..."

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13. Ant rip, 2017
"Maryse Matoko You are bringing Black American context into hair though..."

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14. Maryse Matoko, 2017
"+Ant rip i'm actually African like Chimamanda. This issue concerns all Black people not just African American people."

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15. bandwagon22, 2016
"I have to rethink doing hair. Former i was seeing it just waste of time and money. However it's culturally rich thing and just like painting creating new. If doing hair is "waste of time" then clearly composing music and painting is too. On the other hand i strongly opposite skin bleaching. It has nothing to do with art and beauty. It's more like a human made cancer."

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16. Yadok Godwill, 2017
"I believe hair is really important because many people judge it as they would with skin colour. People with afro hairs are immediately almost always considered black."

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17. Yadok Godwill, 2017
"I believe hair is really important because many people judge it as they would with skin colour. People with afro hairs are immediately almost always considered black."

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18. Clara Mupepi, 2017
"Jon Snow should probably read her book so he can wake up and STAY WOKE because he's ignorant. I'm not sure why he would think some of his comments were appropriate but as usual, she kept herself poised and sharp. I am thankful that she continues to represent African woman of color with dignity, respect and grace. She should be an inspiration to all men and women."
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Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/05/what-stay-woke-really-means-definitions.html for a 2018 pancocojams post entitled What "Stay Woke" REALLY Means (definitions, early influences, & uses)".

Here's a definition for "stay woke" that was quoted in that post:
"From http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/stay-woke
Stay Woke
Part of a series on Internet Slang.
Added 2016 by Ari Spool; Updated February 2018 by Y F.
"About
Stay Woke, derived from the phrase “stay awake,” is an Internet slang term often used to demonstrate the need for awareness of an issue, particularly those relating to social justice or the Black Lives Matter movement. The term is also used ironically in a similar manner to "Wake Up, Sheeple"."

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Example #2: Chimamanda Ngzoi Adichie: "If Michelle Obama had natural hair, Barack Obama would not have won"



Det Kgl. Bibliotek, Published on May 28, 2014

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells Synne Rifbjerg how she thinks Michelle Obama's hair influenced the presidential election

Excerpt from a conversation on International Authors' Stage in The Black Diamond, Copenhagen - see the full conversation here http://youtu.be/b8r-dP9NqX8
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Selected comments from this video's discussion thread (with numbers assigned for referencing purposes only)
1. Lizzy Liz, 2014
"So true and sad that hair still holds us back even in the 21st century"

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2. mike58greenberg, 2014
"+Lizzy Afri I never understood that whole hair issue. I've always thought women of color were awesome and i still do"

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3. Lizzy Liz, 2014
"+mike58greenberg Thanks but if you do live in America you must be aware that Afro hair style or texture isn't generally well accepted especially in corporate jobs yet this is how our hair grows naturally. The worst part is that not only "white people" hate afro textured hair & consider it unacceptable but so do many black people also."

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4. The Adventurous Daydreamer, 2015
"+Lizzy Liz I disagree and it's not far that she'd have to carry the burden of racism and how it effects our self image."

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5. Lizzy Liz, 2015
"+T. L. The fact that she is black & has relaxed hair already proves that she carries the burden of racism in a society that ever promotes white/eurocentric standards of hair type in relation to beauty"

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6. The Adventurous Daydreamer, 2015
"+Lizzy Liz True. That's assuming her hair is even relaxed. I'm sure she has a top notch hairdresser that can press her hair just as straight but it's like Ms. Adichie stated, if she were to truly wear her nature textured hair before she lived in the White House, she would not be in there now because our God given hair is viewed as political or some other crap. Smh."

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7. SFtoAix, 2014
"So sad BECAUSE it is true."

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8. Anton Takashima, 2018
"SFtoAix, yes I totally agree!"

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9. mike58greenberg, 2014
"it's a tragedy that SO many feel compelled to straighten their hair. natural is so much cooler, prettier, more down to earth, more honest-looking. it shows a person has the integrity, decency that goes hand in hand with self-respect."

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10. Kelen R, 2015
"+mike58greenberg part of understanding is realizing that the pressure that creates the "feeling" of wanting to straighten hair is of gargantuan proportions."

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11. Isweri Pillay, 2016
"True. He would not have won had Michelle had corn rows. Silly world that we live in."

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12. Moiralyster Lyster, 2015
"I don't think this is true. As an African black woman, kinky hair tends to be painful to comb. So if there is an easier way to make it more manageable, I personally prefer to keep it straightened and relaxed. I personally don't like kinky hair on me because I'm those tender-headed people who actually do prefer the easy way out. I love seeing my friends in their afros, all pretty and stuff, but I personally prefer relaxed hair On Me. Not because I'm trying to fit into a Western sphere, but because I just don't like an afro on me. It has nothing to do with my self-concept of beauty."

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13. Blessing Kabari, 2015
"that is because that is what you were brought up to think about yourself"

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14. Moiralyster Lyster, 2015
"No. I just like relaxed hair on Me. I am not my hair. My mom has an afro and it looks great. I just don't like it On Me. Understand that."

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15. Blessing Kabari, 2015
"+Moiralyster Dibodu if thats what you like thats what you like... i am just saying if you properly take care of your natural hair you will have no issues with it... i know because i am natural."

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16. 13ritalove, 2015
"you don't have to wear natural hair as an afro you can do braidouts twist outs roller sets etc. you can also straighten or blow dry natural hair. A way to comb your hair so it's not painful is to use conditioner when combing your hair. fyi Im going natural and I dont like afro's either."

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17. jademm, 2016
"The notion that kinky hair is "unmanageable" is a false judgment. Nothing is wrong with the hair. You either don't know how to gently manage kinky hair or you find the time it takes to maintain/nurture it is inconvenient. The type of hairstyle you want to display is ultimately your choice but don't kid yourself into believing that choosing to stay natural (or not) doesn't carry any social significance.

As a black woman living in the West, you know damn well that natural Black hair is generally regarded as "problematic". Afro-Caribbean women are being subtly told that it would be better for them to DAMAGE their hair with strong chemicals (i.e. use a relaxer) in order to "fit in" more easily. Why can't society learn to ACCEPT Black hair as it naturally is? Why can't it change expectations and make adjustments to accommodate diversity? Why is handling Black hair so mystifying or challenging to them?? If any woman can spend an hour in the bathroom meticulously prepping for a date (washing & exfoliating skin, styling hair, putting on makeup, polishing nails, putting on outfits, choosing accessories to match) then there's no reason why time can't be properly spent on caring for Black hair instead of always looking for the "easy way out".

I'm all for free expression, comfort and convenience when it comes to personal style. What I do object to are hair standards that go beyond basic hygiene/grooming matters and try to impose conformity at the expense of Black women's health and authenticity. If Black women are being held back from advancement or are seen as "undesirable" due to their natural, God-given hair...society has a problem (there are plenty of Black fashion models and Hollywood stars to prove my point). It's a sad message we're sending to young girls and women. There are MANY natural hairstyles to choose from to suit your taste. You shouldn't have to fry or hide your hair to be accepted."

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18. Caroline Njoroge, 2016
"Sibongile Dinaledi Kinky hair is so manageable, very easy for me & alot of versatility! now you are here displaying ignorance & laziness."

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19. Moiralyster Lyster, 2016
"+Caroline Njoroge, I'm not ignorant because I am thoroughly informed about natural hair (My mom has it). If preferring to relax it, is me being lazy, then how does that stop your heart from beating? Why am I okay with you managing your own hair but you're mad because I'm managing mine? Why is this logical? I said it's unmanageable for ME... If you had focused on the part where I said "FOR ME", you could saved yourself some time. But why am I being considerate over how you spend your time when you're being inconsiderate about what I do with my own hair?!"

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20. nomkhosi ncanana, 2016
"@sibongile Dinaledi, the ladies here do not understand that we can all be black but our hair textures are not the same, my natural hair is like kinky to the core, it is so painful to comb we call it steelwool.. you just cannot keep up with it on daily basis"

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21. Nubian Queen, 2017
"Sibongile Dinaledi you're ignorant the fact u like straight hair better on u shows how much u hate yourself it's fine to relax your hair that doesn't make u a self hater but once u find that straight hair looks "better" on you than your own natural texture that grows naturally grows from your head that's self hatred you're in denial I used to be like that a long ass time ago so I should know"

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22. spybubbble, 2018
"Black natural hair is manageable, spray some water on it and it will do anything you ask it to. No excuses. I used to think that too until I really started to pay attention to how Haitians do their hair.
Now instead of putting damaging chemicals in my hair and using heat on it so often, I do cornrows, single braids and other hair designs that don't damage my hair. And on top of that I don't have to worry about my hair getting wet, humidity, or moisture whatsoever because you're so restricted to what you can do with straightened hair. But there's a whole of ten options with natural African hair."

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23. know The Way, 2018
"I never like this woman.. her comments are bulls&&t*.. I think Obama would have won, however some people its in their DNA todo what they prefer.. Look at Nigeria, almost 99% of Nollywood and society is wig and weave central."
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*This word is fully spelled out in this comment

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24. Sankara Garvey, 2018
"know The Way sir be precise , she's a fully intelligent women, I don't agree with all she says, but she does make good point."

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25. know The Way, 2018
"Intelligent because she has big degrees, intelligent because she has a world stage, intelligent because of what.. No doubt she is educated, however I agree with about less than 2% coming from her. Once had PHD teacher at Cambridge in the UK, many would swear he was extremely bright, however all I could see was an educated vassal of empty knowledge."

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26. Sankara Garvey, 2018
"know The Way you are deflecting, I ask that you be precise, on what you don't like about her.
FYI I never claimed she's intelligent BC she has " degrees". Every intelligent person knows it doesn't take formal schooling to become intelligent, self education can also make you intelligent.
NOBODY AGREES WITH ANYONE ON EVERYTHING BC THERE IS NO PERFECTION IN ALL OPINIONS"

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27. know The Way, 2018
"I love the fact that's she is a beautiful black woman, however her logic dispels me at times.. How are you going to tell another woman not include wife in her reference their bio, and another woman that if she didn't wear straight hair, her husband would not have won the presidency. Which wife of a Nigerian president, does not a wear a weave? just find it hypocritical."

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28. Sylviane Divine, 2018
"right:-)"

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29. Sylviane Divine, 2018
"Exactly i am agree if i remembered the white people were the one who came with this product that is why they tend to relate this to the history of slavery, where beauty was the relaxed and straight hair . That is why it has alway been a problem...
Anyway as for me i can't just handle the pain and the stress to manage kinky afro hair , and that has nothing to do with my personality or my roots, i am a proud african and my hair does not define me or who i am as a person.
We have different texture of hair some have manageable one some don't, and the bottom line is that it takes time to manage kinky hair and that is not even a topic of discusion. I have to book a whole day for my daughter hair, is painful she cried yet she does not want to shave , she want to relaxe cause she know it willl ease her pain, but i refused just because i want her to make the choice when she is mature enough.. Now it depends on everyone how much time they are ready to put in , call me lazy if you want but i refuse to have kinky hair.
I know many people who went natural for a while and then later run stoped and start with relaxer and straightener again .This just because they couldn't handle it anymore.. More over they are people who really don't have good hair and uses weave to enhance their beauty and to be more confident as a woman.
i am sick and tire of this hair debate, she once said beyonce was the trend that is true but beyonce does braid she does the conrows as well and she has very good hair that has not stop her to do the weave..
Yes if Michele Obama had natural hair Obama wouln't have wont ok ... ,First we do have some black with very nice natural hair.Winnie mandela wore Afro, check Chantal biya wife of camaroon predident , hahahahahh afro is 10 time better than what she has on..
White people do put extension for the volume to, they straighten their hair to those who have curly and don't like it, does that mean they are not proud of their race to?
If we really want to talk natural or embrasse the kinky hair we should even stop all the extension that we used. If you use extension in any form kinky hair , expression or what so ever then you are not natural period..
I love you chimanda and i have a huge respect for you but sorry you are not that natural. stop using the extenssion to if you want to be really natural. My hair my choice and i am not my hair ."

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30. Diana Adhiambo, 2015
" "The frizzy is actually her...you just can't be too black." I love, love this woman's attitude. She keeps it real!"

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31. Anton Takashima, 2018
"Diana Adhiambo absolutely! We need more like her. Clone her"

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32. William Foote, 2017
"Pure definition of a black queen"

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33. thehoneyeffect, 2015
"Chimamanda is so patient with them"

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34. Joch S. Pouk, 2015
"+thehoneyeffect AHAHAH she is so patient. im glad you caught that"

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35. thehoneyeffect, 2016
"microaggressive racism effects employment, healthcare, love of self and others, education and even gets us shot and they are laughing, that crowd was 100% white and painfully ignorant....google exists but they didnt even bother to learn. Empathyless"

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36. Josephine Varghese, 2015
"white people and their ignorance about non-white attributes!"

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Anna, 2017
" "you can't be too Black"
that's so true guys"

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34. Reina Benoir, 2017
"She didn't lie."

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35. Tosin Ademuwagun, 2017
"I agree with this but i also believe some black people would not have voted for Barak Obama or take Michelle Obama seriously if Michelle had corn rows or dreadlocks."

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36. rggunter, 2018
"Tosin Ademuwagun she’s saying this. She didn’t specify about the race of the voters. On the whole, Barack wouldn’t have won. And not that they wouldn’t “take Michelle seriously.” It’s the exact OPPOSITE. Folks would be fearful that she’d be TOO serious. The politics around BW with natural hair is that she is a free woman, a self-aware woman and she will not be controlled."

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37. chuindovu, 2017
"colonization of the mind, its unfortunately the truth ."

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38. Jørg 1, 2017
"It is al about hair isn't it:-) Is this the black female perspective of politics? Embarrassing......."

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39. Kemi Olaleye, 2017
"Jørg 1 of course, one black female speaks out on an issue and she automatically represents the entirety of the black female population🙄
Chimanda has very intellectual views on politics you'd find if we're were to learn more about her instead of making unjustified assumptions based of of a few minute snippet."

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40. Green Orchid, 2017
"Michael Manley former prime minister of Jamaica was married to Beverley Anderson who had an afro. Now she has dreadlocks! Dreadlocks now have been culturally appreciated and appropriated by a diverse global cultures now even in workplace that normally would frown on even skin color is allowing it. Imagine"

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41. Maria Morais, 2017
"Frizzy ? and why is the audience laughing. Chlmamanda was dignified when surrounded by stupidity and ignorance."

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42. Carrina Murphy, 2017
"There are plenty of classy natural hairstyles that Michelle would rock and America would love"

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43. byoung4eva1, 2018
"Smh, that's the point. Why couldn't she wear dreads or an afro and be considered "classy"? And, no, i bet "America", depending on what "Americans" you are referring to, would try to associate them with the black panther party, and/or say they are being divisive. Hell, they already accuse Obama of dividing America, and that's only because he is black, and tried to help bring attention to what black ppl face."

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44. Jerome Chikezie, 2018
"Chi girl is telling it like it is. These truths that you say may make us love one another as black people. More importantly, from your wisdom, deduce the potential and strength we will possess if we stand together as a people."

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45. Nick Costello, 2018
"People don't look at hair. They listen to what comes out of your mouth and what you believe."
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This commenter’s photo is a White man.

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46. spybubbble, 2018
"In a perfect world."

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47. Golda Eshun, 2018
"Yeah isn’t it odd,that the Obama girls never rocked cornrows,
Or Afro’s?"

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48. know The Way, 2018
"I think he still would have won, however, I think people are locked into their slave or colonial mentality. At this point we kill ourselves. Look at Nollywood majority of the women nowadays are bleached, really no need todo this.. but its this colonial mindset. Chimamanda brings up a valuable point, I always wondered why she didn't do such. Black women all over the USA wear natural hair."

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