Crib notes

A white dad does his black daughter's hair, and the Internet smiles

Aug. 5, 2012 at 8:00 AM ET

Frank Somerville / Facebook /
This simple moment, shared on Frank Somerville's Facebook page, is going viral as people respond to the bond between a father and his daughter.

The little family moments are often the ones we wind up treasuring over the years. Usually, they’re lost in the shuffle of daily life, but sometimes they’re captured on camera. And sometimes, those pictures capture the hearts of people everywhere. Such is the case of a picture posted on Facebook by Frank Somerville, a TV news anchor in Oakland, CA.

The picture shows Frank, a white father, concentrating hard as he attempts to do his young, African-American daughter’s hair. He posted it along with the caption, “So for those of you who think TV can be glamorous, this is how I spent my morning, learning how to take out my daughter's braids. It takes a long time and a lot of patience!”

While Frank may have been trying to say that celebrities are a lot like us, what people saw was a father’s love for his young daughter. Babble first brought the picture to our attention and we’re glad they did because it brought a smile to our faces. A lot of people have had the same reaction; the photo has gone viral and many well-wishers have commented on Somerville’s Facebook page.

The white dad, black daughter aspect of the photo make it more than just one for the family scrapbook. As commenter Greg Keane said, “I think it's scenes like these that MLK had in mind.”

Lerue Sarvis applauded Somerville’s efforts, saying “A man and a father! It's inspiring to see real men handle their business. I can't braid hair and I'm black!”

Somerville responded to the outpouring of support for his impromptu hair salon, writing on his Facebook page:

It's not often that I am speechless, but I am floored by the response to the picture I posted, and by how touching and personal many of them were. To me the picture shows a dad doing what a dad SHOULD do, and loving every minute of it. The birth of my first daughter, and adopting my youngest daughter, are the two best moments of my life, and I feel like the luckiest dad in the world that my family is interracial. I can't thank all of you enough. And remember CHANGE HAPPENS ONE PERSON AT A TIME!

While the effort and learning curve involved for this white dad to learn how to do a black girl’s hair is certainly sweet and aww-inspiring, ultimately, it’s just about love. As Octavia Atkins posted on Frank’s Facebook page, “I hope she really appreciates you when she grows up. Most men can't even manage a pony tail and won't even try. I personally appreciate this, not because of race, but because it shows a father taking the time and patience to do something the average man wouldn't even think of doing. God bless you and your family. A real DADDY!”

Michelle Savoy wrote, “It truly is a blessing to see this picture thank you for the post and I hope it goes viral because this is what the nation needs now...LOVE.” Agreed, Michelle, we all need a little love these days and a picture this sweet helps us remember that it’s out there.

Dana Macario is a Seattle area mom to two, young children and she loves the picture of Frank and his young daughter.

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