"Stocking cap" and "[hair-]do rag"' revisited

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Nov 21 17:04:04 UTC 2005

Listening to the Sunday night NFL game last night.  A squabble broke
out on the field among the players, and one lost his helmet.  The play
by play broadcaster remarked that this revealed the player's do-rag.
The color guy, I believe John Riggins, exclaimed that he had never
known what it was called.

Now, I am an old white codger who hasn't spent much time in locker
rooms with black guys who wear do-rags -- unlike John Riggins -- but
I've known the word for years.

Am I hipper than I suppose?  Or is John Riggins a dunce?


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2005 4:20 pm
Subject: "Stocking cap" and "[hair-]do rag"' revisited

> A while ago, I noticed that the local variety store - or
> "drugstore," as it
> terms itself - had a shelf of _Murray's Hair Pomade_. Murray's is
> a hair
> dressing quite popular in the black neighborhoods of my youth.
> Seeing the
> tubs of Murray's reminded me of something else. In addition to the
> pomade,the company also sold an item that it called the "Murray's
> Hair-Pressing
> Cap." This item was a professionally-made stocking cap. It looked
> almostexactly like the tight-fitting caps worn by, e.g. black
> football players,
> except that it was available in only one color: black, like the "T-
> Model"Ford. [Hm! I haven't noticed it till now, but "T-Model"
> clearly has the same
> structure as "hoppergrass" and "peckerwood."]
> WRT to do-rags, I've noticed that black men with shaven heads are now
> wearing them as a fashion statement. It looks pretty lame to me.
> But what do
> I know? My fashion sense is two generations old. ;-)
> --
> -Wilson Gray

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