my first conk essay

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Racial defacing In Malcolm X’s excerpt My First Conk, He describes the process to get a conk. He talks about how his friend will do it for free instead of paying for it. He then goes on to list the items they need to buy to make the “congolene” to make the conk. They need “Red Devil lye, two eggs, and two medium- sized white potatoes… and a large jar of Vaseline, a large bar of soap.” Then the drugstore clerk comments about the Malcolm X getting a conk and Malcolm proudly says “Right!” He later goes on to describe the way the mixture is made and how the Red Devil lye makes the mixture burning hot. His friend tells him “it burns bad but the longer you can stand it, the straighter the hair.” He then proceeds to start to comb it into …show more content…

He says getting a conk was “This was my first really big step toward self-degradation: when I endured all of that pain, literally burning my flesh to have it look like a white man 's hair that they will even violate and mutilate their God-created bodies to try to look "pretty" by white standards.” He later goes on to say ask if the “Negro” has lost all sense of identity. That they would want to look like a white person so baldly they are willing to go to such extremes. He gives the examples of the black men with conks and the black women who wear pink, red, purple, platinum or blonde wigs. He asks “which kind of self-defacing conk is the greater shame--the one you 'll see on the heads of the black so-called "middle class" and "upper class," who ought to know better, or the one you 'll see on the heads of the poorest, most downtrodden, ignorant black men.” It is debatable as to why he published this when he did. People say it is because he came to hate the conk. Others say it is because he was trying to inspire people to rise above the crowd and fall away from the conk. Both are most likely true. He would not try to inspire a movement to embrace ones god given African American hair. Not to change it to copy a white man’s hair style.
In the excerpt Malcolm X talks a lot about Black men who conk their hair. He also talks about black women who wear red, pink, purple, blonde and platinum wigs because they want to look more white. People do many crazy

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