My White Daughter’s Cornrows—and the Sometimes Ugly Conversations They Sparked

I didn’t say yes to cornrows because I was trying to make some statement about race and culture. I was just a mom who wanted to make her 4-year-old happy. A mother who wants her daughter to embrace her beautiful, kinky, curly hair. A mother who wanted to scream, “ARE YOU LISTENING TO YOURSELF? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?” when strangers think it’s O.K. to share their ugly underlying racism with me because we share the same skin color.

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