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does anyone remember the "comb test" in church?

femmemuscle

Active Member
i was reading "hair story" and they brought up something that i hadn't seen since i was knee-hi to a grasshopper.. "the comb test":sad:

there was a church across town in a white neighborhood. My mom was a live-in nurse, maid to a white woman who invited her to worship there.

We went there one Sunday morning. At the entrance of that church was a fine toothed comb, hanging from a string. I didn't think anything of it.. but apparently we weren't allowed in the church. i just thought it because we were black.

they would take the comb down and run it through your hair. If the comb got snagged in your kinky/nappy/curly hair, then you weren't allowed in the lord's place of worship. Well, it got snagged in my mom's hair - that's for damn sure. She said if she couldn't go in - none of us were going in.:ohwell:

So we all piled back in the truck and took off. That woman knew about that comb.. why did she even ask my mother to go there?
 

davisbr88

Well-Known Member
Omg. People can be so disgusting sometimes. And this is one of the reasons why some people look at me funny when I say I'm a Christian, and why people stay calling the church a place of hypocrites. That's just appalling.
 

kmn1980

Emoticons don't affect me
Haven't heard of the comb test but I have heard of the pencil test. Same principle.
 

GodivaChocolate

Well-Known Member
What does that have to do with being a Christian? That's more about people being racist and hiding behind religion. One has nothing to do with the other and more to do with the evil, deceptive ways of SOME people. Throughout history and in many religions and faiths there are many evil things that people have done under the guise of their "religion".
 

VidaStarr

New Member
I had never heard of the comb test til that book. But I remember hearing of the pencil test in school.
 

davisbr88

Well-Known Member
What does that have to do with being a Christian? That's more about people being racist and hiding behind religion. One has nothing to do with the other and more to do with the evil, deceptive ways of SOME people. Throughout history and in many religions and faith there are many evil things that people have done under the guise of their "religion".

Of course it has nothing to do with REAL religion but lots of people have something to say about how hypocritical Christians are when I say I am one (I didn't say this was my perception - this is just what I have been told multiple times). Things like this get brought up - like how the KKK did things in the name of religion.
 

kmn1980

Emoticons don't affect me
What was the "pencil" test?

You put a pencil in your hair and if it doesn't fall out you weren't allowed to participate in whatever they were excluding nappy headed ppl from.

Yep. I've heard that they also did that in South Africa during apartheid. They separated Black, colored, and white. You were white is the pencil fell straight out, colored is there was minimal resistance, and Black if the pencil got stuck.

Thankfully, I've never been subjected to that test.
 

FRESHstart101

New Member
I've heard of the "tooth-pick" test, which is basically the the
same but instead they run a tooth-pick through your hair and
if it gets snagged then you weren't allowed entrance.


It's like the HAIR version of the paper-bag test ... smh some people .. some freakin' people ...
 

Amber_moon

Well-Known Member
LOL these "tests" are hilarious! All of them could be accomplished by just LOOKING at the hair. DUH. You dont need to run a comb or a pencil or a toothpick through somebody's head to know if their hair is curly! WOW. stupidity just gets dumber and dumber.

"well, her hair DOES look like a fro, but we need to test it to be sure".... SAY WHA?????
 

Tiye

New Member
And they called that religion? smh

What were they doing to white people if their hair got caught in the comb?? Plenty of white people have wavy or curly hair and actually any hair texture can catch in a fine toothed comb if it's not groomed properly.
 

ConstantlyDynamic

New Member
And they called that religion? smh

What were they doing to white people if their hair got caught in the comb?? Plenty of white people have wavy or curly hair and actually any hair texture can catch in a fine toothed comb if it's not groomed properly.

You know they put effort and made sure that comb went through even if they had to snag tons of hairs to get it done haha

I've never heard about these tests before (partly because my family is from Haiti so neither my parents nor grandparents had to experience that type of stuff). it's crazy how backwards people can be
 

Yoshi3329

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I've heard about this comb test. I heard they used to do it all the time in South Africa during the Apartheid.

Sickening, what in the world does this have to do with religion is anyone's guess.
 

LadyPBC

Well-Known Member
I'm in shock. Never heard of the comb, pencil or toothpick test but I would not have passed. Thank GOD for favor - I never had to encounter anything like that. OP, I'm so sorry you had to go through that experience but on the other hand it helped to make you who you are today. Just makes me wonder also, why did the woman invite your family knowing the practices of the congregation? Could she have been that insensitive and cruel? Guess so.
 

SimJam

Well-Known Member
I've never heard about these tests before (partly because my family is from Haiti so neither my parents nor grandparents had to experience that type of stuff). it's crazy how backwards people can be

exactly, Im from Jamaica and honestly despite being a developing country Im sooooo happy we were spared this sort of biggotry.

Not to say that there arent other methods of exclusion (in jamaica its mostly division of classes - income) but atleast u can work to improving yourself and economic situation :(

OP Im so sorry you and your family had to go through that.
 
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JJamiah

Well-Known Member
LOL these "tests" are hilarious! All of them could be accomplished by just LOOKING at the hair. DUH. You dont need to run a comb or a pencil or a toothpick through somebody's head to know if their hair is curly! WOW. stupidity just gets dumber and dumber.

"well, her hair DOES look like a fro, but we need to test it to be sure".... SAY WHA?????

I agree with you but when you say test it is like BS, we already know what is going to happen. We just want you to believe it is FAIR and your getting a just Trial so here is this object we are going to use and when you see you don't pass you know we gave you a fare shot! BS!
 

GreenEyedJen

Well-Known Member
I've certainly HEARD of the comb, ruler, and paper bag tests, but I've never witnessed someone being "tested"...and DEFINITELY never thought it was happening at churches...craziness.
 

HeChangedMyName

Well-Known Member
I have never heard of the comb test..... hmmmmmm makes me think of that little comb they'd give us all on picture day, like really? what was I suppose to do with that comb.

never heard of the pencil test either.
 

femmemuscle

Active Member
i believe in all honesty, my mothers boss was being cruel. She was probably being polite without any intention of us black folks entering their pearly white church.

i looked up while we were on the threshold, and just thought it was going to comb out evil spirits. Me being small, i didn't see my mother getting "tested"...

All i remember was this pissed off look on her face, and her turning us around and hustling us back into the truck. Later, i found out what had happened.
 
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lovenharmony

ET / OT Bonafide Member
Never heard of the comb test. Now that I know what it is, I'm glad that I nor my family was exposed to such foolishness!
 

Janet'

Well-Known Member
Wow...just wow...That is horrible...sad to say, even though there may not be a comb on the threshold in 2010, racism and discrimination unfortunately are still alive...
 

Iluvsmuhgrass

Well-Known Member
Know what? I would have strolled up there, took the comb and worked it through a section of moisturized detangled hair.... then I would have gone straight to hell because I sure would have told them to kiss it (including explicit instructions) on the threshold of their jankedified (yes... yes I really used jankedified in a sentence with a straight face) establishment.

Ugh. Stupid people annoy me. And a majority of them are breeding.
 

Transformer

Well-Known Member
The test at a church on "white people" was used to identify and keep out Jewish people. During my early years, Jewish people were identified by their curly and sometimes nappy hair. Now, it wasn't cool to be Jewish in the deep south....so a lot of whites denied their heritage.
 

Goombay_Summer

Well-Known Member
I don't know what alternative universe I was living in because I never heard of any these test including the paper bag one until joining this board. When I mentioned this to my Mom just now she looked at me like I'd just shot Bambi's mother because the concept was also totally foreign to her so I'm going back to where the unicorns roam free.
 
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