The 'Super Bowl Of Good Hair'

Decent Essays
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once famously said during one of his sermon in Alabama that, “A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true (Selma).”One attempt to live up to this ideal is the documentary created by Chris Rock called Good Hair, but the film is an attempt that falls very short of that ideal. Good Hair itself is poorly made, the facts are questionable or nonexistent, and the tone is almost insultingly relaxed for an issue that is very serious. Because of all of this, Good Hair should be left off the English 122 syllabus next semester.
On the surface, Good Hair seems like a slam-dunk film. According to the Good Hair page on the International Movie Database the film won an African-American Film Critics Association
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The film may spend too much time on this super bowl though. J.R Jones, a journalist for the Chicago Reader, said in his review that, “The film is rather pointlessly framed by a glitzy hairstyling competition.” What Jones seems to be suggesting, as are many other viewers, is that too large a portion of this film is spent on a competition that ultimately only ties very loosely back to the concept of the rest of the film, possibly in a weak attempt to keep viewers more engaged so they do not loose interest when the film gets too technical. The result of this decision is a film that never really finds its message effectively. The attempt to keep viewers watching actually has the adverse effect. Every time the film starts to find its way towards serious and informative information, the viewers are dragged back off topic to the hair show in an attempt to keep viewers engaged that instead makes the viewers want to stop watching because they are not getting what they were promised. The doubt of Rock and the director Jeff Stilson in their abilities to keep viewers engaged ultimately creates a very flawed, poorly made, and distracted…show more content…
When the film was released in 2009 the humorous nature of the film may have barely skates by on its own, but tensions have risen considerably since 2009. A few examples of this could be the black lives matter movement, the subsequent response to silence that with the all lives matter movement, and a newly elected president who is said to be endorsed by the KKK. This film’s joking nature about woman spending too much money on hair and black men having to support the habit seems to ignore the more serious discussion that could be had about what is really happening in the United States. For example, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, African Americans make up 37.9% of incarcerated people in the States, but according to census data at the same time black people only account for about 13% of the population (Inmate, Quick). While there are more whites, both in population and incarcerated, the white incarceration rate seems to match up pretty evenly with their overall populations, but is disproportionate when applied to African Americans. What is concerning is that this can tie back to the concept of black hair in a lot of ways. De facto segregation, as defined in the The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, refers to segregation not by the law, but by general practices in everyday life (De). Abhorrent practices such as a real estate agent refusing to sell a house to a black
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