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African Americans Elderly and how to pay for Long Term Care

Just a few months ago before the recent financial melt down, one self insuring their long term care risk as opposed to buying long term care insurance was a popular choice especially amongst the African American’s. I’d always say, even if one can afford to pay $100,000 per year for care, why would you? Spending pennies to protect dollars is still the foundation of most solid financial plans but this group more than anyone else seemed to not want to think about the risk. After some study I traced the resistance of the African Americans not wanting to plan for Long Term Care to their culture of wanting to take care of their families themselves which is noble. Nobel is may be but is it practical in 2016 when people don’t live in the small towns and both husband and wife work?

After the past seven year of the Obama administration which has been a killer to the African Americans community as the administration has let in tens of millions hispanics who often take jobs from the blacks and drive down wages, what is left to do? The African Americans have seen their wages cut by 1/3 from the reckless Obama policies that have taken jobs away from black and black youth. Couple that with the melt down on Wall St and now the difference is people have seen the ugly side of the market which was down about 40% last year and over the past 3 month LTC Tree has received 1000’s of requests for long term care insurance info and quotes from people who have seen their portfolios cut in half. Self insuring may be an option for some when times are great, but when bad, self-insuring your long term care risk might not work.

Good Hair Movie: Our Review

Chris Rock’s 2009 comedy documentary, ‘Good Hair’ might seem like a simple straightforward comedy documentary about a women’s hair salon. Actually, it goes deeper than that. Something as seemingly simple and innocuous as hairstyle actually has deep historical roots in the African-American community. During slave years and the years following, African-Americans were defined by the norms of beauty of a community outside itself.

The phrase ‘good hair’ meant an African-American had straight hair. This was the standard of beauty among many African-Americans during slavery and for many years after slavery. This internalization of the greater White American culture’s beauty norms provided a stark reminder that African-American communities haven’t fully outgrown the mental colonial legacy of slavery. What more direct form of colonial slave-master control do you need than the ability to control an otherwise ‘free’ community’s internal definition of beauty.

For many decades after the abolition of slavery, African-Americans found themselves conforming to white standards of beauty and, more troubling, enforcing such standards by putting down people who had hair that didn’t fit the standard. These brothers and sisters didn’t have ‘good hair’-their hair was called ‘nappy’ and other derogatory terms. In reality, they had hair that Africans had. In other words, their hair was more natural than ‘good hair.’ It was only until the Black Power and Black Identity movements of the 1960s that African-Americans began to embrace hair styles and hair types that fell out of the ‘good hair’ classification.

The 1960s, after all, was the decade of the Afro. Still, this tension between those who continue to consider straight hair as ‘good hair’ and those who champion a more ‘natural’ look persists to this very day. This is the internal community tension that ‘Good Hair’ is premised on.

It is a light mock documentary treatment of how African-American women and the African-American community in general deal with this internally divisive issue. While it is criticized for ‘glossing over’ this tension, ‘Good Hair’ actually addresses this-in its own, humorous, terms.

A montage of Interviews

The great thing about ‘Good hair’ is that instead of approaching the ‘good hair’ controversy in a ham-fisted sermonizing way, he used the humor of different interviews with many prominent members of the African-American community to produce a sort of collective soul-searching regarding this otherwise polarizing issue. In many cases, people are more open to reexamining their own assumptions when they are given the opportunity to see the humorous irony of their position and situation instead of being beaten over the head with politically correct dogma.

The range of interviewees, from Rev. Al Sharpton to Nia Long and Ice-T among others is instructive on many levels. First, it doesn’t come off as heavy and preachy and second, it puts a very personal feel and a human face to what would otherwise be an internal community dialog that tends to be highly politicized. Throughout ‘Good Hair’ there is an underlying and unifying theme of self-empowerment through self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Far from being an ‘African-American’ movie geared towards a certain ethnic community, ‘Good Hair’ is instructive in that allows all culture groups (whether in the form of sexual orientation, ethnicity, racial groups, religion, or other culturally defining shared factors) to seriously analyze how they internalize oppressive values and thinking that seek to deny part of their humanity.