The kitchen that is being discussed in the story means two different things. The first meaning is the part of the author’s house where the author’s mother prepare and cook their food, and where the whole family of the author spend most of their time together. The other meaning of the kitchen in this story is as the kinky hair at the back of a person’s head where the neck meets the shirt collar. The kitchen as part of the author’s house has been memorable to their family since this is where they spent most of their time together.
It is in this room where they took their bath in their galvanized tub, where their mother washed their clothes, and where their mother did her hair. However, we will deal with the aspect of the kitchen as the kinky hair. The kitchen as the kinky hair at the back of their head is usually the main concern of most of the African American. This kitchen is very important to these people because of the perception of “good” and “bad” hair. In those days, “good” means straight hair, while “bad” hair means kinky hair.
Most people wanted to have “good” hair. They exert almost all kinds of effort in order to have “good” hair that even people of today still do. The author’s mother heats fine tooth instrument with wooden handle over their gas stove to straighten her hair, with the help of Bergamot oil. Some used stocking cap which is made up of a pair of stocking cut into about six or more inches with an open end on one side and a knotted end on the other side. Nowadays, hair still remains to be the number one concern of many African American people.
Even people with non-kinky hair resort to hair straightening process and products to achieve silky smooth straight hair. As a conclusion, the term kitchen in this essay pertains to hair as assimilation or adjustment in order to be accepted by their society without much discrimination. Most people believed that hair, as a crowning glory, is an important source of identity. It shows what kind of a person one is, where he/she came from, and it even shows the financial and racial status of a person. Work Cited Gates, H. L. , In the Kitchen. USA: MacMillan, 1997.
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