Hair & Spike Lee's SCHOOL DAZE

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Wed Jan 26 02:11:01 UTC 2000

   I went through Spike Lee's book, UPLIFT THE RACE: THE CONSTRUCTION OF _SCHOOL DAZE_ (1988).  It contains the entire screenplay, plus comments from the actors, producers, and others associated with the film.  The film SCHOOL DAZE was released on February 12, 1988.
  "Bad hair day" is NOT here.
  Which is good.  It tells us that the phrase probably wasn't invented by Jane Pauley in the 1970s.  Had the catchphrase existed, the book surely would have used it.  Which doesn't mean that Lee's film didn't influence the phrase--he might have used it in a television interview in 1988 (too early for Nexis coverage).  I'd ask him.
   The song "Straight and Nappy: Good Hair and Bad Hair" contains the following chorus, as sung by the Wannabees and the Jigaboos (pg. 157):

Talkin' 'bout good and bad hair
Whether you are dark or fair
go on and swear
see if I care
good and bad hair

   Spike Lee mentions this (of additional interest) on page 143:

   I suggested the word "kitchen" in the lyrics, and the line, "Look who's getting new today," both of which he hadn't heard before.  I've heard the term "kitchen" as it relates to Black hair, used in many ways, but Meredith Woods, the assistant editor, gave me the most convincing definition.  When you're getting your hair straightened, the back of your neck is the most sensitive part.  The hot comb really feels hot back there, so they call it the kitchen.

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