Conk is the slang term for a hairdo which was popular among both middle and lower-class black men during the 40s and 50s. The conk destroyed the black man's kinky locks, and flattened his hair, by basically burning his scalp. So what was the point of this painful procedure? To make a black man look more like a white man. The conk was considered hip in many slums and black neighbourhoods in the US, especially Harlem. It was just one of the many ways the black man degraded himself in the face of brutal white racism.
"Conk" is derived from "congolene," the name of the home-made substance which is used to create a conk. If you would like to bring back the conk in your area, follow these instructions to begin your demented quest.
Can of lye
Two medium-sized white potatoes
Large jar of vaseline
Large bar of soap
Rubber hose with metal spray head
Pair of gloves
-Peel the potatoes and thin-slice them into a quart-sized Mason fruit jar
-Stir the potatoes with a wooden spoon* while pouring in half the can of lye
-Break in the two eggs, stirring quickly. The mixture will now be quite hot from the lye
*Always use a wooden spoon. The lye will turn a metal spoon black.
To apply the congolene resulting in a conk, follow these instructions:
-Have the conkee put on the apron.
-Apply the vaseline on the hair, forehead, ears and neck of the conkee. Be careful to cover every spot. Any spot not covered by the vaseline will have a painful sore from the lye.
-Now comb in the congolene. The conkee will feel extreme burning pain. But, the longer they stand it, the straighter the conk is.
-When the conkee can no longer stand the pain, rush them to a sink.
-Lather and rinse the conkee's hair many times, each time making the water a little colder, thereby cooling and soothing the conkee's head. The conkee should say anywhere they feel tingling, because if those spots are left there, painful sores will result.
-Towel off the head of the conkee. They will once again feel burning sensations.
-Vaseline the conkee's hair.
-Comb using first the large-toothed comb, then the fine-toothed.
The conked person now has a genuine conk, along with a damaged, burned scalp. This self-mutilation is a sick example of how the black people of this nation were brainwashed to believe that whites were stronger, smarter, and better than them for no other reason than skin color. Sadly, even the most educated black men, the highest ranking blacks in the highest positions possible, had conks. No "self-respecting" black man went in public without a conk. The conk was just one more form of oppression the black race had to deal with in the mid 20th century.