Beyond the Mane: Black Hair's Battle for Acceptance

Beyond the Mane: Black Hair's Battle for Acceptance

I must say, as a black woman, I have never knowingly been turned away from a job because of my hair, but, I've only been natural for five of my forty-one years.  However, since being natural I can recall a time when I had my hair strathtented (for the sole purpose of getting it trimmed) and I wore my hair straightened to work the next day. I vividly recall my supervisor saying "oh I love your hair better that way." While I've never believed she was a racist, she was clearly clueless. My response, "of course you do."

These "standards of beauty" if you will, were put into place to make black women and men feel ashamed of our God given, natural hair, the hair that grows from our scalp. This standard was just another form of systemic racism that created a barrier for black people to get ahead in life. 

Black women have changed their hair to fit in at the office. Black women have been sent home due to their hair.  Black women and men have been required to cut their locs in order to secure a job.  

To add insult to injury, there are schools across our country that discriminate against black children for how they wear their hair, whether it be texture, protective styles, locs etc.  Black children have been punished with detentions, having to to choose to forfeit competitions and more because they were looked at as violating a dress code that was intentionally created to suppress them.

What does hair have to do with anything? How does black hair determine our level of competency, intelligence, work ethic or personality? It doesn't. We may love our hair and black hair culture but we aren't defined by our hair, however it is a part of us LITERALLY!

While it is a shame that any type of energy has to be placed into black people being treated equally, The CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair) Act was created July 3, 2019. This act "prohibits discrimination based on a person's hair texture or hairstyle if that style or texture is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin. Specifically, the bill prohibits this type of discrimination against those participating in federally assisted programs, housing programs, public accommodations, and employment."

Sadly, this bill hasn't been signed into law in every state of our country.  So let's help our local government out so every black woman, man and child can exist in this country without being discriminated against for the very strands that grows from their scalp. 

Please help by signing this petition, to end discrimination against our hair across the country.


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