Talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Tyra Banks tackled this subject and they both did a marvelous job regarding the subject and they set the stage of helping many Black women free themselves for the bondage and slavery of trying to maintain “Straight Hair” or trying to have a Europe-Centric appearance. Some women spend as much as 20% of their income maintaining their hair and more time is dedicated to hair than any other single entity in many of these women's lives. Many women are slaves to maintaining "Good Hair." In Nichiren Buddhism this condition is akin to the Buddhist world of "Animality."
The question that some may ask is what does “Good Hair” have to do with the Buddhist religion; and our answer is; Buddhism is a “life science” that deals with all phenomena and "Good Hair" express the "Buddhist Law" of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Also for the record I am not just speaking about any Buddhism and when I use the term Buddhist I am referring to Nichiren Buddhism.
What does the Subject "GOOD HAIR" has to do with the Buddhist Religion?
When I begin to write this Buddhist lecture it was my intent to take an interesting and relative subject and explain Buddhist theory using this cultural subject of Black hair to explain Nichiren Buddhist teachings, however this lecture took on a life of its own (myo) and traveled beyond the esoteric circles of Buddhist dialogue. Many Buddhist would argue that Black Hair has nothing to do with Buddhist teachings however when we examine this subject with a close and clear-cut examination one will find the world of animality and the “heart wrenching” prejudices that exist not only of Whites against Black people, but you will learn of the prejudices that Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Asians, Indians and many other ethnic groups have regarding people of African decent.
On October 15, 2009 American President Barack Obama visited Asia and his visit to Asia brought out the view that Asians must reevaluate their prejudices against Black people. Please note under normal circumstances you will never experience racism from a Priest, however deal with the issue of culture and you will find the intolerance and challenges that cultural differences bring. There are institutional prejudices that go beyond individual prejudices that we must challenge. Asia thousands of years ago was inhabited by Africans however over the years this history has become lost but the icons of the Buddha who gives us a window into Asia's Black past let us know about the African influence in Africa. The clear-cut evidence of this is the hair on Buddha's head in ancient statues.
During my days as a practicing member of the SGI Buddhist Sect I left the organization because of this racial issue. Although I am a Nichiren Buddhist and I once belonged to the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist sect as difficult as this may be for those who follow the teachings of our Nichiren Shoshu Priests they too are not going to venture in a cultural realm outside of the traditional cultural Japanese Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist teachings.”
Please note we at this website hold that in order for our wonderful Nichiren Buddhism to grow in America we must be able to venture out to overcome cultural issues in our religion. In America the most segregated day of the week is Sunday. This wonderful Buddhism in America has manifested itself too much like a foreign esoteric Japanese religion and it is culturally void of American integration. This Buddhist lecture is a cultural lecture that tackles our wonderful religion with a cultural twist. Black people worldwide have no idea of our Buddhist heritage and if this fact was made know we would study about the Buddha in Black History month. We at this website seek to change things.
Nichiren Daishonin ( Buddhist Teacher Japan) writes in the Gosho;
“Exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. Without practice and study there can be no Buddhism. You must not only persevere yourself; you must also teach others. Both practice and study arise from faith. Teach others to the best of your ability, even if only a single sentence or phrase.”
The issue of "Black Hair" on the Buddha has been a bone of contention for hundreds of years and to this very day if you reveal the fact that the Buddha Shakymuni did not have what others call "Good Hair" and evidence of history shows him to have been Black and just the thought of bringing up such a subject will be a point of controversy. It is not just hair that is a point of controversy but if one were to study the history of Buddhism in India we can learn the historical roots of racism and prejudice.
"Please Note" that institutional racism is ingrained into our historical Buddhism and the simple issue of "Black Hair" is a part of that institutional racism. The entire history of Black people founding ancient Buddhism has been removed from history and this is a travesty of Justice and we do not get a clear historical view of Buddhism until we understand the history of Buddhism in India.
All phenonmena has a "cause and effect" relationship and we must review history to get a clear understanding of any phenonmena. No people would just wake up and say "I want straight hair." Also racism must have a historical begining and when you find the begining you will find where the concept of "good hair' began.
The History of racism began in India over 3000 years ago and this racism exist in India today in the age old "Caste System" based on color. When you review this history closer you will find a man by the name of Buddha who fought against racism in India. The religion of the Aryans in India created a santified racism that taught that not all people are created equal but you are created based on your "Color" and in today's India this is still true. This is where you will first find racism about color and hair in the world's history.
My lecture today is on the subject of “Good Hair” just a few days ago at the time of this writing actor Chris Rock premiered a movie nationwide called “Good Hair” and this movie has stirred a lot of controversy in the African/American community and it is a subject that has been taboo in the Black community about the 9 billion dollar Black hair industry and the lengths Black people go to have straight hair or a Euro-Centric appearance