Getting the Black word out (I hope!)

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Posted by Lauren on May 23, 2002 at 13:16:53:

Our new Turkish friend decided we HAD to go to NYC to see the Turkish
cultural day parade and paid our way. I put on one of CCJ's Turkish
designs on the train down and it looked pretty good. We get really
tired and go to a Burger King on the parade route, and my older son
disappears for a second while we're in line and comes back with two
women in hijab and says "Look, Mama, I found henna!" One woman and
her daughter had beautiful designs on their hands- save that they
were done in black. I'd never actually seen black henna before, so I
asked about what they had used. The unhennaed woman said that she
was the artist and used a powder which mixed henna (which was a weird
orange color that nobody likes) and a black hair dye. ACK! At this
point, my well-meaning husband starts telling them everything about
black henna and they get this look like why is this white make
talking to us about henna at all? I tried to step in to soften the
blow, partially because I think we scared the little girl. The
artist said she had used the mixed stuff for years on all her
friends, family, and clients. She sometimes used natural color but
only if requested, and she wouldn't use it on herself. I gave her my
card and the address of this Forum and said that she should probably
take a look and decide for herself. I got a distinct vibe of "yeah,
right, I'll humor her and say yes" and then they left.
I figured that was the end of it, then yesterday I got email from the
lady saying that she had been here and taken a look at the info on
black henna and was going to stop using it. Yay!! I have hopes that
she will tell her friends and family and customers, and perhaps this
can be an inroad into getting the ethnic community informed, at least
in one city. I've had quite a few ethnic types tell me that everyone
uses the black stuff and it's quite harmless and getting all
defensive about it, so having one of their own saying it for me makes
me very hopeful.


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