Afro Denial

Sometimes, things don’t get any more socially relevant than this. Aaron McGruder is such a genious. I’ll continue to update this page as this Afro Denial and Ethono-ambiguo Hostility Syndrome unfolds. Please read, enjoy and leave comments if you are so moved. 

I resent racial Categories. Why must I be forced to choose between two parents?!?!!!
I understand, Jazmine. I’m mixed too.
You are? What?!!
Absolutely. I’m part Black. Part African Amerian. Part Negro and part Colored. Poor me. I just don’t know where I fit in.
You’re making fun of me!!!

So you really couldn’t tell I was part black when we met?
Really? Not at all?
I didn’t even think about it.
I just thought you were having a really bad hair day.
Hey, Huey. What’s that in your hair?
It’s an afro pick. It’s for people with afros.
Would you like to borrow it?
No! Very funny Huey.
Are you sure?

Here… Take my pick. Really. Think of it as a gift.
I don’t want your stupid pick Huey… I don’t care what you say. I DON’T. I DON’T. I DON’T!!!
(Sigh) So sad.
You’re suffering from “Afro-Denial.” Textbook case.
Afro Denial?
This looks serious. I better start planning the intervention.

There is no such thing as “Afro Denial.” I bet you made that up!
Wait… Here it is.
AFRO DENIAL: A psychological affliction where patients exhibit self-delusional behavior. Believing they have straight-flowing European supermodel-type hair. Thereby refusing to accet the coarseness and/or nappiness of their actual hair.
Well. I think you and your book are STUPID. SO THERE!!!
Hmmmm… Sounds like Ethno-Ambiguo Hositility Syndrome…

Hello. Is Thomas Dubois in?
He’s busy right now. I’m his wife. Is there something I can help you with?
I’d much rather speak to Mr. Dubois. It’s kind of a “Black Thing.”
I’ve been active in the NAACP for years. I may be white, but I’ve dealt with a few “Black Things” before…
Your daughter, Jazmine is suffering from both “Afro-Denial” and “Ethno-Ambiguo Hostility Syndrome.” I suggest an immediate intervention of positive Nubian reinforcement.
I see… Uh Tom? Sweetie? There’s a “Black Thing” at the door for you…
I appreciate your cooperation.


Listen Huey, you have to try to understand how sensitive Jazmine is about her hair. She sees her mother’s hair and she doesn’t understand why her hair doesnt look the same way. My wife doesn’t have a clue what to do with it, and neither do I. Meanwhile, we’ve tried everything to straighten it. Every relaxer ever made. Nothing works.
Have you tried emphasizing the natural beauty of her african features?
…Or how about LYE? You know. BURN her hair straight. Like the old days. That might work…

I have nothing to say to you, Huey, until you apologize.
Well, I will say some of my recent observations may have been better left unsaid.
Oh! I Accept! Now we can be friends again. I knew you were only teasing about that Afro stuff.
I didn’t say that. You certainly do have an afro.
Stop saying that. I have GOOD hair! I don’t have an Afro — your just mean!!
Please get a hold of yourself.
No!!! I hate you. Leave me alone!!!
(Sigh) Tis a long, hard road to afrocentric wellness.

38 Responses to “Afro Denial”
  1. caligurl says:

    wow! I discovered the Boondocks late last year and have been hooked ever since. Did that comic actually run in the paper? As usual, thanks for sharing.

  2. nappyme says:

    Hi Caligurl,
    I’m not sure about that. I get them every morning in my email.

  3. gurrrrl u know i’m “MIXED” . and this comic strip illustrates a lot of my childhood crises! LOL been there and so glad to be past it. n-e way, don’t forget what I encouraged ya about woman of many talents. what i’ve seen of your site so far is fabulous!

  4. Hey Nappyme,

    These comic strips were too hilarious! What mailing list do you belong to that allows you to receive these by email?

  5. nappyme says:

    Hi lovelymissyoli,
    I get them daily from

    Glad you like them.

  6. augusta says:

    wow geat minds really do think alike..i have the boondocks on my ‘my msn’ page and i save most of these very same strips!

  7. superdivah86 says:

    Those actually did run in the paper. I remember reading them when I was in high school.

  8. Stinky says:

    thanks for the web link. i put it in my favorites.

  9. Najmah says:

    Black Pride all over again- Yes!…

    I recently wrote to the ad dept. of a national hair products company because they have these commercials that show “bad hair days” being corrected by their products.
    So, I asked them to redo what they are calling “bad hair days”, since those “days” are depicted as the days when the hair looks like Afros or “very frizzy”.
    I let them know that they are borderline racial to people who have Afros or “naturally frizzy hair”, who don’t look at their hair as “bad”.
    And, I suggested that maybe they can call the “bad hair days” those days when the hair is “flat and stringy” and their products gives the hair some body, or something.
    I haven’t heard from them, yet. It’s been about a month now. I’m going to resend the email soon. I don’t want them to think that this is something to sweep under the rug.
    And, if any of you have seen those commercials, you might consider doing the same, if it hits you the same way.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Hello All,
    Well I have permed hair, and I as so bored with it. My hair is hair to manage when it is permed, but I am so ready to go natural. Where do I start? I think natural hair is so much more interesting than straight hair.

  11. Patricia says:

    i’m biracial and this comic is so funny to me because i can remember having conversations just like that. My hair has always been a huge dilema. I tried going natural but it just didn’t work out…….my natural hair looks just like that girl’s.

  12. nappyme says:

    Awe Patricia…don’t give up on your natural beauty. There are plenty of sites out there that can help you learn to manage and love your natural hair.

    Try AND There’s also (I think that’s the name of it.) There are tons of products out there for women with biracial hair as well. One of the sites I think is called Mixed Chics. Girl, if you really want to be natural, it’s up to you. It might not be easy at first, but if you want it you can have it. I hope you reconsider and give your natural self another try!

  13. Shennell says:


    I think it’s great what you’re doing with this site. I’m 27 and after I had my first son. My hair fell out in clumps. It drove me crazy as before my children I had long straight relaxed hair. The kind that everyone stops to ask are you mixed becuase your hair is so straight and beautiful. Anyways I’ve shaved my head once becuase of the shedding and the second time I stoped perming it for aprox 1 1/2 years becuase it just wouldn’t stop falling out. I did perm it back however. I’ve spend every weekend at the salon just to have nice hair as I’ve noticed that when it done at the salon everyone loves it however when I do it at home it looks like a home do and everyone isolates me for it. Let’s just say that I spend a lot of time alone at work because of it as I work in a predominently white corporate environment. However I do long for the day when I can love myself enough to go back to NATURAL. However the closet I can get to natural right now is doing it at home. I really hate my hair the way it is right now however I don’t want to lose my job and I feel as though if I go there then I would definately be pushing it. However i do applaud what you are doing with this site as everything that I’ve read on it is accurate and definately true. Keep up the good work as we need to learn how to love ourselfs and our hair as it is something that our mothers and grandmothers didn’t teach us becuase they too had been taught to hate true beauty.

  14. nikki says:

    too cute.. love that show

  15. Love this so much. It really speaks to our people. The good hair, bad hair thing. What the !@#$. I thought that was over and done with in the 80’s. I know it’s never over until we are all educated on the beauty of being who you really are. It was funny though.

    Keep it Nappy

  16. Ethno-Ambiguo Hositility Syndrome…I AM NOT A SUFFERER..YAY! says:

    LMAO..its so true..i mean really. WAT IF PERMS DIDNT EXIST..we would have to deal with our “BAD HAIR” just leave it only goes bad when you BURN holes in your scalp, and when u DONT GREASE IT….BLACK WOMEN!!!!! WE NEED THE MOISTURE..WE AINT WHITE….hahahaha

  17. endslaverynow says:

    I love my “good” hair, when I don’t shave it. 🙂
    Great Blog Sis…stay Nappy!

  18. Zen says:

    Yes, this is real. Especially how the parents re-enforce it and dont try to uplift and educate. Eventually most women by 30 or so start getting curious about their Africanness and start discovering that ‘nappy’ or course hair is interesting and beautiful.

    My mom relaxed my hair when I was 9. I am 30 now and I stopped relaxing my hair 5 months ago, and am learning just now how my hair grows out of my head naturally. Its a shame-but also a great self discovery process-despite the odds of societal and parental conditioning.

  19. Sibur says:

    i love it! Ever read that strip where he compares her hair to a bunch of puffy clouds? i think it was my favorit!

  20. Kcurly says:

    I really enjoyed this. I have to admit I’ve never really paid much attention to this comic strip. It was both insightful and clever. Thanks for sharing it!

  21. SamBlob says:

    The “little boy vs. little girl” act is done a lot in comics. Dennis the Menace usually deflates Margaret’s huge ego, while Calvin just plain picks on Suzie Derkins. Huey and Jazmine are the first I’ve seen do this as a clash of culture and ideology.

  22. JouJou says:

    I am an american woman of haitian descent On my dads side of the family we have and Indian grandmother so my dads hair was so black shiny soft and manageable I came out with very kinky coily difficult to retain moisture hair. As a child and young adult I would always say ” Why couldn’t my hair be like my fathers”. Fortunately my dad never put down my hair texture, hower as soon as it was time for me to receive communion, the women of the family slapped a perm in. It was then that I thought I had gorgeous hair. Even within the haitian community there are predjudices about good hair versuses bad hair. It is very degrading and discouraging. Regardless of what others think of my hair as an adult I have permed my hair from time to time but I have also worn it very long in its natural state. Currently I am in my mid thirties and I am completely natural (for over a year) for good and loving it. All hair textures are gorgeous, I personally don’t feel that it is a race thing because all people are of one race and that is the human race. Our hair texture is determined by the historical geographical background of our ancestors and the original mutation that occured when man first surfaced. Hope my comment made sense. Would love to hear some feed back I am always willing to learn. Thank you. You all are wonderful. Let’s keep loving and educating everyone on this topic and hopefully we will see some changes in the media that will inspire the up and coming youth of all cultures to accept their natural beauty!

  23. blackheartz says:

    wow. i had dreadlocks for the first sixteen years of my life. i have had an afro since cutting my hair a couple weeks after my sixteenth birthday. i love it. i have had my hair braided once and it just isn’t the same. i feel as though i understand where the girl is coming from, though– my mother is white and my little sister’s hair isn’t nearly as nappy as mine. sometimes it is hard to appreciate my hair the way it is.

  24. April says:

    While not a fan of the comic strip itself. The topic that is being addressed is real. Thanks for sharing.

  25. MarKoya says:

    I absolutely love this. I too have been in Afro denial. But I am no longer. Loving my nappy self. Thanks for sharing this.

  26. Lily says:

    This is funny because I’m mixed raced and my experience is the exact opposite. I always had a ‘fro, which my mum, who is white, taught me to be very proud of so I never had any hang-ups about my hair. However, my (black) sister always had my hair in cainrows. I suppose my mum accepted this as ‘the done thing’ for afro hair and it probably made the mornings getting me up and ready for school a lot easier. I never saw my hair wet. It was washed, oiled, blowdried and cainrowed every two weeks straight from the age of about 2 until I started relaxing at 16. I am now 25 and had a baby girl 10 months ago. Whilst pregnant I decided not to use the relaxer because of the chemicals, and inadvertently went natural… I discovered I have beautiful curly hair I never knew about! I WILL NEVER RELAX AGAIN, and my daughter who’s father is black will probably have tight curly, borderline afro hair (judging from it now at 10 months) and I have sworn to myself I will always teach her how to love and nurture the best out of her natural hair. It wont be getting blow-dried and put into tight cainrows like mine was all the time. Its funny how discovering I have curly hair has opened up a whole new world to me. Even when i see black girls who probably have afro hair rocking a relaxer, I kinda feel sorry for them cos if only they new how beautiful their natural hair could be if they knew how to care for it and style it. I love the fact I can still rock and afro, or afro pony-tail when I want cos of the texture of my hair. 🙂 PS – My hair is twice the length now i no longer relax, blowdry, brush and comb!

  27. Lily says:

    PPS – Also… My daughter will NEVER get a relaxer whilst under my roof! 😉

  28. Lily says:

    PPPS – just one more comment… My partners mum, (daughters grandma) is Jamaican, a lovely lady, and we get on like a house on fire. But she does use the phrase ”good hair” and it does make me feel bad. Her hair is typical course (natural, healthy and well looked after) afro hair, but I consider it good hair just like mine. Mine is no better, just different. Its hard to put that into words without sounding patronising though, when someone clearly has that inbuilt resentment for ”nappy” hair, including their own! 😦 If my daughters hair came out like her grandmas she will be just as beautiful!

  29. Hali says:

    Haha! I am glad you posted this up. Because I see so many of us in denial about our hair and reject our beautiful Afro texture!

    I am proud of my coarse fro. I don’t care what anybody says. =)

  30. royal miss says:

    how can i get those boondocks comics? what site do i go to to get those comics? are there comic books of the boondocks?

  31. royal miss says:

    i also would like to add i wasnt in afro denial, to be honest, i never really hated my hair its just that perms was all i knew, my mom permed my hair at a young age, so it was a cultured thing. but she never taught me to be ashamed of my blackness, she just had the problem with the fact that i didnt have “good hair” im guessing. but when i saw other bw with this natural hair, long, thick, kinky, groomed i loved it and was amazed at it like it was something foreign lol so i did my BC and looked hella good in my short lil afro. since natural, never straightened it, no texturizers, barely used a dryer, just had deal with my hair. but currently its frustrating me, making me want to get some twists or braids to take a break, or chop it off into a small afro, or by an natural hair styled wig. um 18 btw.

  32. Deanna says:

    Love it!!!

  33. L.C. Grant says:

    In response to the very first comic strip. Why does so much hostility exist towards people who chose to say “I’m more than one thing.” To one person it might seem like total hypocrisy, to another it’s their life. It’s how they’ve grown up. Its the cultures they’ve lived in. Their mothers, their fathers. The food they eat. It’s the bewildered looks they get in the street. By all people, their own included.

    I don’t go around announcing my race to strangers, just like I don’t go around announcing other details of my life. “Hey what’s up I’m 5’5 and an organ donor… are you?” But what bothers me the most is when people become enraged when someone just doesn’t add up to anything they try to define them as. Most of the time folks, it’s not intentional. It’s not some politically plotted conspiracy-like decision that we make. Some people are just.. different. There IS a way that things ‘should’ be, people ‘should’ love each other unconditiionally. And not in the, “Oh you’re Puertro Rican… I love enchilladas” way. In a, “I love you because I’m glad I met you. Because my life wouldnt be the same without you. And I love enchilladas.”

    (Enchiladas are Mexican.)

    While on one hand some might say, identifying as biracial or ‘mixed’ segragates people. I say, resenting people for choosing to identify as biracial or mixed segragates them even more! It’s like killing people to stop them from killing people. It sends out this feeling of… Define and be accepted, or don’t define and be rejected. Conform and be loved or don’t conform and be hated. It’s one thing to hate yourself and want to be something else. It’s another to say, hey this is what I am! I’m more than one thing, damnit! And I’m proud, but I’m not going to knock anyone down who doesn’t define themselves exactly as I would.

    Have you ever met someone that is just so unbelievably content and satisfied with themselves? Proud of their quirks? Someone who walks around with the DORKIEST most obnoxious smile and just glows with self-love? (It’s kind of hot, well sometimes.) Why cant we have that kind of pride? The awww yeah, baby pride.

    Let’s try that. Everybody look in the mirror and say in the most obnoxious, self-loving voice: Awww yeah, baby. Yeah! Now do a little dance. There we have it. 10 seconds closer to universal love.

    • Sheona Saint says:

      I know what you mean L.C. with the Yeah baby thing! and letting people be:) but slighty unsure how your first segment relates to the comic but then I suppose that is because we’ve interpreted the comic differently. Blessed love, stay blessed.

  34. Yann says:


    I agree with your sentiment. I remember when I moved here and had to fill out my college application, I was FURIOUS! I looked at the application and had no clue what to do, then I remembered my dad’s last discussion with me before I left; “in America you are black”. Growing up in Jamaica it was not something I had to think about and it is not because we are 98% black (that is actually the biggest load of…). It is a country where we are (or at least we used to be) very proud of our history particularly our family history, a place where you spend the weekend with your granpa who looks nothing like you and your best friend that looks like midnight is name Sang. In short, I am used to being just me, being Jamaican. Each time I am pushed to identify as Black, I feel as if I am limiting myself and disrespecting/or implying that I am ashamed of the part of my ancestry that isn’t.

    That’s why I always check other and write JAMAICAN.

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