A few weeks later in a downtown courtroom in Memphis, Tennessee, there is hairy action. Jennifer takes this hair thing a step farther. Now, everyone knows...including
Shelia Kennedy, that she is serious.
"Your honor, I call upon the stand my client, Jennifer Williams ."
The attorney waits for Jennifer to get on the stand.
"Place your hand on this Bible," says the court attendee.
"Do you promise to tell the truth, the hold truth and nothing but, so help you God."
"I promise to tell the truth," says Jennifer. She isn’t going to swear on God’s name or anybody else’s. She has heard in church somewhere that you aren’t suppose to do that.
"Ms. Williams, tell the court why you’re here, " says the Judge.
"I’m here to seek damages regarding my hair."
"I see," says the Judge.
Jennifer’s attorney questions her first.
"Your honor, this is exhibit A. Here we have a photo of Ms. Williams’ before her hair was cut and after." Some members of the court go ooh and ahhh.
"Ms Williams is seeking community service work for Shelia Kennedy, the owner of Touch-Up, because she cut off too much of her hair. I would like to reiterate that my client is not seeking monetary damages. She is not here seeking to sue for millions or even thousands. She is merely here to teach Ms. Kennedy and the rest of this court a lesson. It’s a lesson that many women down the road will appreciate."
Attorney Betty Carlie then turns to the members of the court.
"Ms. Williams is a deeply spiritual woman. And she believes that all things work together for good for those who love and serve God and who are the called according to His purpose. But just as sure as we are all alive today, the enemy is at work. And so that’s why we’re here today in a court of law."
Attorney Carlie is sounding like a minister now.
"I’m no minister, but I believe that right is right and wrong is wrong and it was wrong for Ms. Kennedy to cut off my clients hair. It was malicious and it was an attempt to damage her glory thus bringing about mental anguish to my client."
"No sir, your honor," says Shelia’s attorney. Anthony Brock is standing now.
"Ms. Williams asked my client to cut her hair," he says.
"If I may continue, your honor." Jennifer’s attorney looks at the other counsel and then the judge.
"You may continue," says the Judge. Then, he speaks to Attorney Brock.
"We will not have anymore unnecessary outbursts like that. Do you understand?" asks the Judge.
"Yes, your honor," says Attorney Brock. Then, he sits down.
"As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, Attorney Carlie glances back at Shelia’s attorney.
"It is not about servicing the customer or providing a basic right that every woman has. It’s about jealous, envy, selfishness and down right evilness. That is what provoked her to slash my client’s hair off. Ms. Williams has been distracted from her job, her boyfriend, family and community work because of her hair. She has been worrying about her hair. She takes pride in her hair. What woman doesn’t?"
Attorney Carlie catches herself and calms down. She takes a deep breath.
"Some men collect cars," she continues in a much subdued manner. Ms. Williams takes pride in having healthy, long and flowing hair. What we would like for you to do today, is sentence Ms. Kennedy to one year of providing free hair care on a weekly basis to five welfare mothers."
"Why welfare mothers and why five," asks the Judge.
"Welfare mothers are now being forced to work. We don’t have a problem with that. Anyone who is able to work should be working. God does not like for us to be lazy. But, we feel that if their hair looks good, they will have a better chance of getting and keeping jobs. They will have a better chance of getting and keeping the man of their dreams and at the same time this will boost their morale."
"Ms. Williams, how do you feel about this," asks the Judge.
Jennifer looks over at Shelia. If looks could kill, Jennifer would be a dead woman.
How dare Jennifer drag Shelia in court over some hair?, thinks the hairdresser.
"Your honor. This is all I have been focusing on. Since she cut my hair, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. This has really affected my production at work, at home, my relationship with Troy and family members. I just want some justice and some peace."