“MADAME” REDUX by William Reed Columnist

Good Hair was a 2009 American documentary comedy film by Chris Rock Productions and HBO Films.  The film focuses on African American women’s hair, the styling industry surrounding it, the acceptable look of African American women’s hair in society, and the effects of both upon African American culture

The film and theme created controversy on many levels.  It started disputes debates over: extent of the European ethos among Blacks; whether Rock infringed on another Black’s work; and myths about the icon of the Black Hair industry, Madame CJ Walker.  Rock says he was prompted to make the Good Hair movie after his 5-year-old daughter asked him, "Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?"  But, according to filmmaker Regina Kimbell, Good Hair was a rip-off of her documentary My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage; which she says she screened for Rock in 2007.  After a federal judge allowed its release, Good Hair opened as the fourteenth highest grossing film for the October 9-11, 2009 weekend.

Many say the movie “made Black women seem ignorant and stupid because of their hair”.  Vivian L. Randolph, President and owner of the original Madame C. J. Walker Mfg. Co. Inc., d/b/a Madame C.J. Walker Enterprises, Inc. who manufactures the original Mme. C.J. Walker hair care products took issue with the Business Exchange edition parody of the film and depiction of Madame CJ Walker.   Ms. Randolph wrote to say: “There are several historical inaccuracies that have been perpetuated and promulgated by Madame’s competitors and those who would like to inhibit the success of her company today”.  “As the owner of the original company founded by Madame as well as the historical documents of her company, I would be remiss … if I did not correct some of the misinformation and misconceptions about our Company’s founder”.  Ms. Randolph wants people to know that “Madame did not invent the pressing comb nor was she … the first to use it to style black women’s hair”.  Historically, use of the pressing comb among Black women started long before Madame began incorporating the use of the appliance into her hair growing demonstrations.  Randolph is adamant that in reality “Madame fought vehemently against the idea that she ‘straightened hair’, and that Madame Walker started the ‘Hair Growing Business’ – not the hair straightening business’” www.madamewalker.net.

Ms. Randolph’s major emphasis is that Madame was in the business of providing healthy hair car products and services.  Her point is taken, but there’s no debating that today Black Hair care and products is a healthy business.  Blacks spend $3 billion a year to get the right products to ensure tamed tresses; whether braided, twisted and locked, wigs, weaves or extensions.   Their hair is a matter of priority to large numbers of Black women.   Madame CJ Walker became iconic and a millionaire catering lines of hair products to Blacks.  At its peak, the company Ms. Randolph now runs employed more than 3,000 people.

While Black-owned hair care companies flourished for decades after Ms. Walker’s successes in the early 1900s today, 90 percent of the Black hair products market is controlled by international conglomerates. France’s L’Oreal Paris is world’s leading manufacturer of ethic products; its Soft Sheen Carson Division provides brands such as Dark & Lovely and Optimum.  L’Oreal USA and Alberto-Culver Co. account for more than a third of sales among this niche market.

Blacks need to look at the big picture and ally.  Consumers need to be mindful of how the choices we make play in Black economics.  Madame CJ Walker was a paragon of circulating dollars with and among Blacks.  To get the Black hair care industry back, Black business people need to get back the people.  To take control of the Black Hair products and beauty supply industries, hordes of Walker Agent-types need to be assessing Black hair needs and crafting and passing out such products.  Businesses in the Black Hair care market segment have to provide timely products and use mediums like Black newspapers to increase consumers’ choices toward the products.  Combined we can strengthen communities and preserve culture.

(William Reed – www.BlackPressInternational.com )

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William Reed

To this reader, the choice is clear in N.C. Senate District 3 primary – Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram

Let’s say there are three people running on the Democratic ticket for the N.C. Senate District 3 seat. Let’s assume these three individuals happen to be one female and two males. Let’s also assume these three individuals are of one race — the human race. (Read more @ The Rocky Mount Telegram)

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Senate District 3 Race

Look for longevity in superintendent post – Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram

The Edgecombe County Public Schools system has been blessed in recent years with dynamic leadership from strong superintendents. Here’s hoping that trend continues with the next person to lead the system — and that the new superintendent sticks around for a while. (Read more @ The Rocky Mount Telegram)

Note: Edgecombe County is a strange county.

Dr. Steve Stone did all the above however he left the county in a financial bind and had some issues. Dr. Stone said he was going to stay here atleast 12 – 14 years and he lied. The system went to hell during his tenure and I know because I was very actively engaged in the system during his tenure.

I received phone calls from Bertie County that we didn’t want Dr. Stone to come here. I did work with him and had no problem with him until he got ignorant when I challenged the schools in the southern end of the county. It is funny as hell that this article do not mention that the financial auditor said Dr. Witherspoon, the first black superintendent in this county is the only superintendent who did such a great job with the finances. Dr. Witherspoon leaves the school system better than all the others before him because they have working capital and they do not have to worry about the money.

I do not recall Dr. Witherspoon saying how long he would stay here. The new superintendent can focus on other areas while making sure they keep the finances in check. Many jobs CEOs do not stay but around 5 years so I believe the superintendent can be considered as a CEO. C. Dancy II

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Superintendent Search

Interview with Ricky Parks: Nash County Candidate for Sheriff Now Online—Connections with George Fisher

Watch video – Interview with Ricky Parks: Nash County Candidate for Sheriff Now Online—Connections with George Fisher

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Ricky Parks For Sheriff Of Nash County Interview On WNCR TV Was Quite Interesting

Ricky Parks For Sheriff Of Nash County Interview On WNCR TV Was Quite Interesting

While watching the interview the following came to my mind. Sometimes people are mislead and get politics twisted when it comes to what is and what is actually perceived.

Qualifications – Being a citizen, a registered voter simply just meeting the criteria by the board of elections. This has nothing to do with having a degree and/or other.

Experience – If one has never been in that seat then they can not truly be experienced in it.

Can you explain why Sheriff Jenkins is able to go into Rocky Mount Chief Manley’s area and do something without being called by Manley?

Tom Betts – Thank you Mr. Parks for bringing out about Betts being one of the Sheriff Jenkins top fundraiser so that shows he is a racist. This is in reference to the comment Betts made several months ago about Rocky Mount Chief Manley should be fired. Crime is not limited to the Chief’s jurisdiction but expands out in the county as well. See “Crime’s effect on business debated” and “The Best of Tom Betts’ on crime.” I have no problem with Sheriff Jenkins so don’t get it twisted.

Mr. Parks made a good point about how he came up being poor. He said we must always keep in mind that there are people who are less fortunate than others and we can not write them off. Well for me I have never wanted for anything and I have spent my life being a voice for the less fortunate so therefore for me that makes a good candidate for anything.

Crime stats

Mr. Parks what are you saying about the crime numbers in Rocky Mount?  From your conversation would that bring the Edgecombe County crime numbers down and take Nash County numbers up? So are you telling me that the folks who live in Nash County is wrong to say that crime rate is lower and that is why they continue to move west of Rocky Mount? This is in reference to how some numbers that happens on the Nash side of Rocky Mount are included on the Edgecombe County side because of how the system is set up. The system suppose to change later this year and the numbers should reflect the side of the tracks that they actually happen on.

My message to all candidates is. A serious candidate must be about doing what he or she thinks is within the best interest of the people. Once elected one must go in and do the right thing and if one is re-elected then so be it but if not know that you tried to do what is within the best interest of all the people. If you do that, that makes one an effective leader because many times those who does the right thing will not be popular.