1. a subservient, role-playing, white-stereotyped black person.
|Novels and Stories (1995) 1009: Handkerchief-head: sycophant type of Negro; also an Uncle Tom.‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
|Iron City 102: Cotton-mouth snake will bite till you’re dead, / But just don’t turn your back on a lowdown handkerchief head.|
|Gentleman Junkie 157: He often damned himself for not being a ‘handkerchief-head,’ illiterate and content to let the white boss run his life.‘The Night of Delicate Terrors’ in|
|(con. 1960s) Wanderers 153: ‘Han’kerchief Head,’ said Ricky Leopoldi.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 241: handkerchief head Female equivalent of a Tom.|
|Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 302: The AJ-C had its share of handkerchief-heads.|
|Guardian Rev. 30 Mar. 2: Being a review of the history, antics and attitudes of handkerchief heads, Aunt Jemimas, head negroes in charge and house negroes against the freedom of the black race.|
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
|in Orlando Sentinel 11 Aug. n.p.: One of those ‘handkerchief-head niggers’ who bow low before the white man and sell out [their] own people out of cowardice.|
|Spook who Sat by the Door (1972) 91: His handkerchief-head old lady always sassin’ the white folks.|
|Social Crises: A Casebook 264: If you read the admissions of the City of Omaha’s application, you’ll wonder why we Uncle Tom, handkerchief-head Negroes in Omaha haven’t burned that city.|
|Rope Burns 185: I say the motherfucking common-as-handkerchief-head nigga bitch ho got off easy.|
3. a middle-class black person, irrespective of gender.
|Mister Jelly Roll (1952) 231: When this corny old handkerchief-head would assert that Count Basie did not know piano, the atmosphere of The Jungle Inn would be ripe for murder.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 52: Terms that specifically disparage the black bourgeoisie, such as [...] handkerchief head.|
4. attrib. use of sense 3.
|(con. WWII) And Then We Heard The Thunder (1964) 48: A handkerchief-head faggot.|
5. one who has straightened or ‘processed’ hair, worn under a headscarf.
|Black Jargon in White America 67: handkerchief head n. 1. a black male who has a processed hairstyle with a head scarf covering it.|