Chapter 1: What is This Book and How to Use It?
Essentially this book is divided into three parts. The first, and most important part, is that it is a guidebook for Daddies to help them (US) develop better, stronger relationships with our daughters. It’s a book that will help foster and guide meaningful conversations and help daddies understand how important it is for them to sometimes go into their daughters’ worlds instead of just bringing them into theirs. I learned that it’s really good for a Dad to see the world through his daughter’s eyes sometimes…and that they appreciate it more than we know when we do. It’s amazing the amount of pressure that young girls face nowadays, and in order for us to help them traverse the formidable waters between childhood, and womanhood, we have to see the obstacles that they see…from THEIR point of view, not just the ones that WE see from ours.
Secondly, the book is a hair care guide. A lot of times, when I was sending my girls off to school with ponytails that looked like handlebars, or curling half of their hair over and the other half under with the flat iron, or just picking their shampoos based solely on how pretty the bottles were, (or, even worse, just how they smelled) I WISHED that was some kind of guidebook SOMEWHERE that could help me. Okay, you can admit it, if you’re reading THIS…you did the same things that I did…Man up!
Third, and my personal favorite part, is that it’s a keepsake book. Throughout the book, there are lined pages for Daddies to write their notes, little pockets to put in keepsakes like barrettes and little scraps of hair, pages for your daughters to doodle on while you’re doing their hair and countless other things. This brings us to the ULTIMATE goal of this book. It is something that you can hand over to your daughter on one of the most important days of her life; graduation, wedding day, birth of the first child….whatever. What THIS will accomplish is priceless. It will show your daughter that she was important enough for you to WORK on this for her for years. It will give her insight into your thoughts about her and your endless love for her, and it will be something that she can share with HER kids…to show her son what it is like to be a Dad, and for her Daughter to see the measure of a REAL man.
So, make sure that you use the book to its fullest. Don’t ONLY write about your strengths and triumphs, but write about your failures, your fears, and your faults. Give your daughter the FULL picture of a real man. Make sure that one day, she’ll understand the importance behind her Daddy thinking she was important enough to sit down, do her hair, and get to know her. Remember, you are the mold that men will have to fit for the rest of her life. Make it a strong one.
Hair ,Hurt and Healing –The Purpose of this book
I have two beautiful daughters. One is 18 years old now and the third is 17. When they were younger, I took great pride in being able to do their hair. There was NOTHING fancy about the hair dos (or hair DON’Ts, depending on the point of view) that I gave to my girls, mind you. In fact, on my very BEST days, my handiwork was barely even passable. It can be safely said that there were many, many ponytail days at our household…and most of them CROOKED ponytail days. However, whenever I would take the time to do their hair, I would notice something…something VERY unexpected: Whenever I took the time to do their hair, they TALKED to me…and not just surface talk, but they would tell me about their days, their fears, their thoughts…I was finding my way into THEIR world, and they were letting me in.
In writing this book, which is not just about doing hair, but about building strong relationships between Daddies and daughters, I realized that we have a problem. Now I know it is a WELL documented fact that we are in a fight for our young Black men. We inhabit prisons at a ridiculously disproportionate rate. We kill each other off like we’re getting paid for it. We’re more likely to go to prison than college, and the list goes on. We’ve been in arms about this for YEARS. However, my question is this, who’s trying to save our daughters?!?!?
Friends, I present to you that our daughters are being attacked also, often times as a result of the problems mentioned earlier…There IS no man in the home if he is in prison. There are no positive role models by which to judge their boyfriends and husbands if they’re all out there shooting up our neighborhoods, or getting killed off by just stepping innocently outside their own door.
Now, I was talking to a young sister the other day, and through the course of our conversation, it became PAINFULLY evident, that her sole goal in life was to become a model…not the type of model that you see on America’s Next Top Model…but a hip hop video vixen type of model. Somewhere along the line, we’ve let our daughters become convinced that their worth is determined by if she can “Drop it Like it’s Hot”; that their minds, hearts, and intellects don’t matter, ‘cuz men will fall “…in Love With a Stripper”. We’ve let their minds become accepting that their surname is “Bitch” and their given name is “Ho”. Yeah, I’ve heard all the tired, same old arguments about freedom of speech and reflecting what goes on in the Black community and keeping it real, and yadda, yadda, yadda…. but there comes a time when keeping it real, equates to, as my Mama says, “…just keeping it real “ig’nant”.
Now, I think it is time that all of us that call ourselves men, including yours truly, to step up, and accept responsibility as men for not just our sons, but our daughters as well. We need to make a commitment to our daughters that we will not allow them to have their worth determined by anyone other than God. We need to commit ourselves to ensuring that our daughters realize their worth is more than as some piece of meat to be draped across the hood of a car on some magazine cover, or laid out on the deck of some boat for some hip hop artist to disrespect by pouring champagne over her or by swiping a credit card down her hind parts.
Now before I start getting smacked with the criticism that I’m expecting, allow me to be the first to say that I’ve watched the videos…heck, I ENJOYED the videos. I’ve uttered the “B word” and Ho out of both jest and anger. I’ve talked junk about my conquests to my boys, and overall, I’m still a work in progress, but I think that if we are truly honest with ourselves we can work towards fixing this. And since a reformed, renewed, revived, and restored former crackhead is the best to give advice about why one should not smoke crack, I offer up my insight in regards to not promoting disgusting, destructive, disingenuous, disheartening, degrading images for our lil girls.