kathleen cleaver 2
Kath­leen Cleaver

Not too long ago, I found an old pho­tograph of my par­ents wear­ing gigan­tic afros and won­dered, “What hap­pened to the nat­u­ral hair move­ment of that time? Why did it die out?”

Many nat­u­ral­is­tas are aware that the cur­rent nat­u­ral hair “trend” is not a prece­dent and that an ear­lier move­ment exist­ed back in the 60s and 70s. Nonethe­less, the his­to­ry of this “first” move­ment is often over­looked and even over­sim­pli­fied.  The “afro” of the 60s and 70s was not just a “style” of that peri­od nor mere­ly a polit­i­cal state­ment.  Let’s go back in time for a moment …

The 60s: The nat­u­ral hair move­ment begins

Between 1964 and 1966, the Civil Rights move­ment was mor­ph­ing into the Black Pow­er move­ment, accord­ing to Byrd and Tharp of “Hair Sto­ry: Untan­gling the Roots of Black Hair in Amer­i­ca.” “Negroes and col­ored folk were becom­ing black peo­ple,” and for many, that meant accept­ing “a new, Black-iden­ti­fied visu­al aes­thet­ic, an aes­thet­ic that not only incor­po­rat­ed an alter­na­tive to straight hair but actu­al­ly cel­e­brat­ed it.  In a book titled “Hair Mat­ters: Beau­ty, Pow­er, and Black Women’s Con­scious­ness,” Ingrid Banks, Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor of Black Stud­ies at Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia San­ta Bar­bara states:

“the press­ing comb and chem­i­cal relax­ers became oppres­sive because they were tools that sym­bol­ized the shame asso­ci­at­ed with black hair in its nat­u­ral state.”

The immi­gra­tion of Africans to the Unit­ed States, accord­ing to Byrd and Tharp, also fueled the nat­u­ral hair move­ment of that time peri­od.  For some black peo­ple, wear­ing their hair in its nat­u­ral state became a “way of show­ing their vis­i­ble con­nec­tion to their African ances­tors and Blacks through­out the dias­po­ra.”  For many, return­ing to nat­u­ral meant shed­ding one’s appear­ance and ideas (of beau­ty) accu­mu­lat­ed through assim­i­la­tion into White Amer­i­ca.  In 1968, Kath­leen Cleaver of the Black Pan­ther Par­ty said this about the nat­u­ral hair move­ment occur­ring in that time:

“The rea­son for it, you might say, is a new aware­ness among black peo­ple that their own nat­u­ral appear­ance, their phys­i­cal appear­ance, is beau­ti­ful. It is pleas­ing to them … For so many, many years we were told only white peo­ple were beau­ti­ful. Only straight hair, light eyes, light skin was beau­ti­ful, and so black wom­en would try every­thing they could to straight­en their hair and light­en their skin to look as much like white wom­en … But this has changed because black peo­ple are aware, … and white peo­ple are aware of it too because [they] now want nat­u­ral wigs … They want wigs like this [points to her nat­u­ral hair].”

The 70s: The move­ment reach­es its height and the afro becomes a tar­get of repres­sion

By the late 1960s and 1970s, the nat­u­ral hair move­ment was per­me­at­ing the black pop­u­la­tion. The afro was not just seen on mem­bers of the Black Pan­ther Par­ty, but on col­lege stu­dents, oth­er activists, and in film.  Blax­ploita­tion films, like Cleopa­tra Jones and Foxy Brown, were also fea­tur­ing female char­ac­ters with their hair in its nat­u­ral state.

nina simone
Nina Simone (in 1969).  She had been wear­ing her hair nat­u­ral years before this moment.
pam grier-foxy brown
Pam Gri­er. (Movie: “Foxy Brown”, 1974)
tamara dobson-cleopatra jones
Tama­ra Dob­son. (Movie: “Cleopa­tra Jones”, 1973).

Dur­ing the 70s, promi­nent black mem­bers of activist groups were also forced “under­ground,” or into hid­ing from law enforce­ment. Dis­guis­es for some of the­se wom­en includ­ed wigs to cov­er their nat­u­ral hair. The afro was becom­ing a tar­get for arrests and inter­ro­ga­tion.

Toni Morrison and Angela Davis
Ange­la Davis (L) and Toni Mor­rison ®.

In “Afro Images: Pol­i­tics, Fash­ion, and Nos­tal­gia,” Ange­la Davis dis­cuss­es how pho­tographs of her­self, includ­ing those on the FBI posters, affect­ed the per­cep­tions of oth­ers, and more impor­tant­ly, the lives of oth­er nat­u­ral-haired black wom­en:

“While the most obvi­ous evi­dence of their pow­er was the part they played in struc­tur­ing people’s opin­ions about me as a “fugi­tive” and a polit­i­cal pris­on­er, their more sub­tle and wide-rang­ing effect was the way they served as gener­ic images of black wom­en who wore their hair “nat­u­ral.” From the con­stant stream of sto­ries I have heard over the last twen­ty-four years (and con­tin­ue to hear), I infer that hun­dreds, per­haps even thou­sands, of Afro-wear­ing Black wom­en were accost­ed, harassed, and arrest­ed by police, FBI, and immi­gra­tion agents dur­ing the two months I spent under­ground. One wom­an, who told me that she hoped she could serve as a “decoy” because of her light skin and big nat­u­ral, was obvi­ous­ly con­scious of the way the pho­tographs con­struct­ed gener­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tions of young Black wom­en. Con­se­quent­ly, the pho­tographs iden­ti­fied vast num­bers of my Black female con­tem­po­raries who wore nat­u­rals (whether light- or dark-skinned) as tar­gets of repres­sion. This is the hid­den his­tor­i­cal con­tent that lurks behind the con­tin­ued asso­ci­a­tion of my name with the Afro.

angela davis cover
Ange­la Davis on the cov­er of LIFE as want­ed by the FBI.

Ear­ly to Mid 80s: The nat­u­ral hair move­ment dis­si­pates

In the ear­ly to mid 80s, the nat­u­ral hair move­ment was slow­ing down and ulti­mate­ly came to an end. Why? While it is dif­fi­cult to pin­point one exact rea­son, here are some pos­si­ble fac­tors:

The afro became a tar­get (as dis­cussed above).

The Black Pow­er move­ment decel­er­at­ed in the ear­ly 80s. (The Black Pan­ther Par­ty end­ed in 1982.)

The inven­tion of the Jheri Curl, Wave Nou­veau, and oth­er per­med styles occurred in the mid to late 70s. The­se styles rose in pop­u­lar­i­ty among blacks in the 80s and part of the 90s.

The “afro” look was becom­ing more main­stream — being worn by non-blacks — and los­ing much of its orig­i­nal mean­ing.

Braids and corn­rows — the new “nat­u­ral” styles —  were not wel­come in many work­places. (In 1981, Renee Rogers lost her job at Amer­i­can Air­li­nes for wear­ing corn­rows.  In 1987, Cheryl Tatum lost her job at the Hyatt hotel for wear­ing braids.)

SOURCES:
[1] Faraj, Gaidi. Ph.D. Dis­ser­ta­tion, “Unearthing the under­ground: A study of rad­i­cal activism in the Black Pan­ther Par­ty and the Black Lib­er­a­tion Army.”  Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, 2007.
[2] Davis, Ange­la Y.. “Afro Images: Pol­i­tics, Fash­ion, and Nos­tal­gia.” Crit­i­cal Inquiry. Vol. 21, No. 1 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 37–39, 41–43, 45.
[3] Byrd, Ayana and Tharps, Lori. “Hair Sto­ry: Untan­gling the Roots of Black Hair in Amer­i­ca.” St. Martin’s Griffin, Jan­u­ary 12, 2002.
[4] Banks, Ingrid. “Hair Mat­ters: Beau­ty, Pow­er, and Black Women’s Con­scious­ness.” NYU PressJan 1, 2000.

What oth­er fac­tors do you believe played a role in the decline of the “afro” and nat­u­ral hair in gen­er­al? What are some differences/similarities between the move­ment of the 70s and that of now?  Do you think this move­ment is here to stay?

Chinwe

Empow­er­ing wom­en of col­or to break bar­ri­ers. Cherish.Thy.Melanin. https://cherishthymelanin.com/
https://www.facebook.com/cherishthymelanin/

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53 Comments on "The Natural Hair Movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s; How It Began and Why It Ended"

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Claire

This nat­u­ral hair is beau­ti­ful. Why put a whole lot of chem­i­cals in your hair? Nat­u­ral is best.

Howard Hutchinson

Psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare to keep us from rec­og­niz­ing our self worth and to assim­i­late into the so called dom­i­nate cul­ture. Attack­ing our nat­u­ral hair styles is still war­fare. Our hair is ver­si­tal and any­thing can be done with it in its nat­u­ral state.

trackback
[…] I do NOT dry my hair because MOISTURE IS WONDERFUL FOR NATURAL HAIR. My curly hair air dries over the course of the morn­ing while I’m mov­ing around at work. I don’t use a comb or a brush because I just real­ly love the way my hair looks when I let it do its own thing. It’s SO curly and soft. By the way, here’s a recent pic of my hair just doing its own thing. I love it and not because I spend mon­ey every week to get it done because at this point, I spend about $15/every… Read more »
trackback

[…] Late­ly, I’ve been think­ing a lot about the pol­i­tics of Black women’s beau­ty. To be more speci­fic, I’ve been think­ing about the pol­i­tics of Black women’s hair. But I don’t want to engage in a dis­cus­sion about the sociopo­lit­i­cal dimen­sions of the Nat­u­ral Hair Move­ment. Nuanced con­ver­sa­tions on that top­ic are (and have been) occur­ring in numer­ous places… […]

Sarah

1981 a wom­an is fired for wear­ing pro­tec­tive styles. 2016 a child is sus­pend­ed from school for hav­ing locs. Not much changed…

Hakikah Shamsiden

Great arti­cle. Also, many peo­ple who for­mer­ly had Afros, start­ed wear­ing locs in the 90s. That was the next nat­u­ral hair explo­sion.

TWA4now

Wow! Awe­some arti­cle! Yes, the braids and Jerri.curl took over. The beloved Afro fad­ed in.the back ground–the true mean­ing. The nat­u­ral hair moment is here is stay! It was birth with self-love…love your hair, skin, body, and soul.

Anjanette Potter

Thanks for the his­to­ry lesson. I plan to order the two books you men­tioned. I’m hop­ing this wave will last sim­ply because we are learn­ing t accept each other’s rea­sons and motives for style choic­es AND we learn­ing that there’s no one way to be “black enough”.

lisa sanchez
I think black wom­en back in the day were a lot pret­tier when with their nat­u­ral hair the­se wom­en the­se days have want­ed Euro­pean hair put into their hair and it has become a men­tal thing where they can­not live with­out it and even to where it caus­es fore­head can­cer on that black mod­el and it caused many oth­er infec­tions also on actress­es that would be like a Euro­pean wom­an putting on an afro why would some­body do that is just ridicu­lous a lot of black Amer­i­can wom­en have dam­age their hair to the point where they will nev­er be… Read more »
Ama

Excel­lent post to a great arti­cle. We still face dis­crim­i­na­tion because of our hair but we are strong and will endure. I too am along for the ride! And total­ly agree with the poster who men­tioned inte­gra­tion emu­la­tion.

Christian Adika

Thanks for edu­cat­ing! Keep up the great work!

LaNeshe @Nesheaholic.com

Great post!

Nikkis Power
Yes I remem­ber in the 70s wear­ing my big fro men­tal­ly asso­ci­at­ing myself with the black pow­er move­ment. The Black Pan­thers wore fros and they were total­ly my hero’s, I planned to join them when when I turned 18. But before I reached that age many Black Pan­thers were killed or jailed and the black pow­er move­ment wasn’t in our faces as much. My rebel­lious feel­ings turned towards a more spir­i­tu­al seek­ing. The black move­ment got replaced with the inner peace spir­i­tu­al­ism afford­ed me. The only oth­er option for doing my hair nat­u­ral at that time for me was dread… Read more »
Amie
I love this glimpse into the more com­plex sto­ry of nat­u­ral hair move­ments in black Amer­i­can his­to­ry. I some­times won­der whether or not this nat­u­ral hair move­ment will fade out even­tu­al­ly. I’ve seen a few YouTu­bers return­ing to relaxed hair or tex­tur­iz­ing their hair. (Not that Youtube is nec­es­sar­i­ly indica­tive of most black nat­u­rals) The nat­u­ral hair move­ment is cer­tain­ly less mil­i­tant and more beau­ty-focused the­se days, for a lot of wom­en. It’s inher­ent­ly about beau­ty either way, but I think the image most wom­en are try­ing to aim for dai­ly is very dif­fer­ent. We aren’t usu­al­ly pick­ing out the… Read more »
Chevanne

Came back to read this again and say well done. :-)

BlueCornMoon

I NEVER did that. I was a teacher & wore my afro on the job as did many oth­ers. I taught in inner city schools with most­ly black kids. I did have straight haired wigs & only wire them to give my hair a break or to wear a dif­fer­ent look with­out hav­ing to deal with salons & hot combs.

GoldenLadyP

Great arti­cle! I’ve always thought about the very short time ago when Nat­u­ral Hair wasn’t just about fash­ion. You were open­ing your­self to per­se­cu­tion, abuse and all kinds of neg­a­tives espe­cial­ly with locs. Respect to our amaz­ing pio­neers!

mjslyfe

BeU­ti­ful­ly­Hu­man you took the words right out of my mouth. I love this arti­cle. We have real­ly lost focus of what going nat­u­ral real­ly means and this arti­cle def­i­nite­ly puts things into per­spec­tive. Great read!

BeUtifullyHuman

In order to know where we are going, we must first know where we come from. Great read! Please keep this kind of empowerment/enlightenment com­ing.

CafeDiva
I’m clap­ping from my seat!!!! Excel­lent job and mag­nif­i­cent post Chin­we! I thor­ough­ly enjoyed read­ing this arti­cle because it pro­vid­ed a his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive and delved deep­er behind a seem­ing­ly pow­er­ful move­ment. It showed the cel­e­bra­tion of the Afro and nat­u­ral hair but for a mul­ti­tude of fac­tors dis­si­pat­ed when it was most cel­e­brat­ed; with­in the black com­mu­ni­ty. I’ve also qui­et­ly won­dered to myself about this and even ques­tioned my own aunts about their choice to return to perms after rock­ing nat­u­ral hair and “Afros” dur­ing this era (60’s & 70’s). I feel that this post had great grit, teeth, and… Read more »
Guest
The nat­u­ral hair move­ment this time around can not be a fad; black con­sciouness demands this. As a peo­ple, the pro­found impact and sig­nif­i­cance that final­ly embrac­ing, wear­ing and lov­ing our nat­u­ral hair after cen­turies of oppres­sion (phys­i­cal­ly and men­tal­ly), can not be denied–no mat­ter how many times one says “it’s just hair”. No it is not just hair, it’s an awak­en­ing to the con­di­tion­ing that we have been under for the past 400 years. A con­di­tion­ing that has been past down (con­cious­ly and sub-con­cious­ly) in our house­holds from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. I hope to God that we have real­ized… Read more »
disqus_l5AKLiKBqN
The 1960s rise of minor­i­ty, wom­en, youth, gay, anti-war and work­ers move­ments AROUND THE WORLD were a sociopo­lit­i­cal-finan­cial tsunami again­st ‘omnipo­tent’ White patri­ar­chal insti­tu­tions that were DICTATING glob­al finan­cial mar­kets as well as house­hold spend­ing, con­trolled media-mes­sag­ing, waged wars over drugs/weapons/minerals/agricultural ter­ri­to­ries and sin­gle-hand­ed­ly cre­at­ed and deposed lead­ers. They were not going down PERIOD!  Defi­ance to war, racial­iza­tion, reli­gios­i­ty, homo­pho­bia, misog­y­ny, pover­ty, corporate/academic/political elit­ism was pow­er­ful and effec­tive. The change, auton­o­my and advances of the 1960s threat­ened THE monop­o­lis­tic stran­gle­hold on where and how racial-eth­nic and social minori­ties spent their mon­ey, the media and psy­cho­log­i­cal meth­ods used to sup­press them… Read more »
Adrienne Dubya

The afro dur­ing this time peri­od is real­ly an inter­est­ing top­ic for me. Espe­cial­ly the fact that the afro was viewed as a polit­i­cal state­ment & peo­ple could have lost their jobs because of the fear of rad­i­cal­ism.

My grand­moth­er is from Louisiana and she told me that many wom­en (her­self includ­ed) used to wear afro wigs when they were out with their friends or going to night clubs but oth­er­wise it was com­mon for wom­en to keep their hair relaxed beneath the wigs. 

So I am curi­ous as to whether oth­er wom­en in oth­er parts of the coun­try did the same.

marie

afros are beautiful…I have sis­ter­locks and the­se pics are mak­ing me miss the fro. it just looks pow­er­ful, it demands atten­tion!

OXxo

In the UK if you ask most peo­ple who had their hair in an afro at the time they will admit it was due to fash­ion. Most would admit it wasn’t a polit­i­cal state­ment. Even more so because any­one with dense curly hair regard­less of eth­nic group copied it.

blacknproud

agree, inte­gra­tion was…is the decline of the black busi­ness­es and the community…a lot of yes believe ‘white is right’ smh…

blackangel87

I nev­er thought of from that prospec­tive; eye open­ing.

Chevanne

It’s fun­ny that peo­ple say all day, “it’s just hair”, but hair itself is a big cul­tur­al focus around the world. Braids, shav­ing pat­terns or just length can be indi­ca­tors of social sta­tus or beau­ty. There is great val­ue in hair and we pre­tend like it ain’t no thang. BOLOGNA. I remem­ber girls com­ing to ele­men­tary school in depres­sive states after being forced to cut their hair. It’s an impor­tant facet of our per­son­al­i­ties and act­ing like we have the priv­i­lege of not wor­ry­ing about how soci­ety per­ceives it is a dis­ser­vice.

BelleNaturelleParis

Sis I love read­ing your per­spec­tive on Black issues. Please keep com­ment­ing and bring­ing your light to this forum.

Rukiya Anthony

I’d love for you all to do more post like this.

Stace
I don’t know how much this has to do with any­thing in terms of this his­to­ry, but I nev­er real­ly liked the term creamy crack when I first start­ed com­ing on nat­u­ral hair boards. How­ev­er, when it occurred to me that the use of “creamy crack” came on the scene around the same time as actu­al crack-cocaine, it real­ly set off a light-buld in my mind. When you think about the way that crack des­o­lat­ed the urban com­mu­ni­ties and the black com­mu­ni­ty par­tic­u­lar­ly, and then think about what the use of relax­ers did to the men­tal­i­ty of the black image… Read more »
Cheryl

Pow­er­ful epiphany!

lv

the arti­cle is on point. No one rea­son for the depop­u­lar­i­ty of the nat­u­ral hair move­ment. What i know now is that i am grate­ful that the trend is back –that the trend is on and pop­pin now! I am grate­ful that after 35 years of relax­ing that my curls and kinks are still in tact. Thank you Jesus!

Edges_N_Paris
Inte­gra­tion, inte­gra­tion, inte­gra­tion! With inte­gra­tion came the decline of Black busi­ness­es and the A okay for us to spend our dol­lars with Mas­sa. Quite nat­u­ral­ly we pur­chased any­thing and every­thing that would ensure our accep­tance to the dom­i­nant soci­ety. Sis­tahs were con­scious then and I see it hap­pen­ing again. It’s iron­ic because I live in Paris and the con­scious­ness is mak­ing it’s way here as well. Although weave is still king, sis­tahs in Paris are embrac­ing their nat­u­ral hair. They’re Black and they’re proud! Is the move­ment here to stay? Who knows? I’m just hap­py I’m here for the ride.… Read more »
LBell
Tak­ing this slight­ly a la gauche ;) : I was a kid in the 70s grow­ing up “in inte­gra­tion” and the only wom­en I saw who wore BAAs were teenagers or slight­ly old­er. Wom­en of my mom’s gen­er­a­tion, if they wore a nat­u­ral, kept it short­er. My mom had a curly ‘fro wig that she would wear for spe­cial occa­sions. That was pret­ty much it in my cor­ner of Amer­i­can sub­ur­bia and for my mom’s gen­er­a­tion I think it had a lot to do with how you pre­sent­ed your­self in envi­ron­ments that until then you were banned from. Tied to that: When… Read more »
Erickka Sy Savane

I was excit­ed to read this as I have won­dered this myself. Thanks for
doing the research! I’m lov­ing the rea­son you gave that It basi­cal­ly
became too com­mer­cial, which is fun­ny when you think of it: Black peo­ple
had to leave their own nat­u­ral hair because white peo­ple were try­ing to
take it over.

JenniD
Great arti­cle! I have so many thoughts on this but I do think that the afro of the 60’s and 70’s saw its demise because many only saw It as a trend or fash­ion state­ment. Just as we see now in the com­ment sec­tions in hair blogs from nat­u­rals today. Many don’t think their hair choic­es are that DEEP.If its cute and in style and worn by black celebs they jump on it. Hence all the wig­ging and weav­ing going on now that will look much dat­ed in a few years now as well lol. No mat­ter if we want… Read more »
kia

Very infor­ma­tive. real­ly loved this Chin­we!

Kaila Smith

Thank you for shar­ing!

Marra

cool arti­cle! I’ve won­dered about this before as well.

Dee

Dif­fer­ence between the move­ment of the 70s and now is that we have nat­u­ral hair prod­ucts that are more healthy for hair.

Also, there are nat­u­ral hair pro­duct lines cre­at­ed by us (Black peo­ple, espe­cial­ly Black wom­en).

Anon46

Great arti­cle and love the videos attached to arti­cle. My moth­er is a retired nurse. Before she start­ed work­ing, she had a big, beau­ti­ful afro. We live in the South & when she start­ed her career at the largest hos­pi­tal in our city in the ear­ly 70s, there were very few Black nurs­es. She start­ed using the hot comb because it wasn’t accept­able for her to wear an afro to work. I’m sure many oth­er Blacks expe­ri­enced & felt the same as she did.

Jas Devi

which is why I ulti­mate­ly find it in poor taste for non­POC (real­ly non black ppl) to use the term nat­u­ral and attempt locs, afros, ect.

lis

Yeah@Jas Devi what do you mean by that.…In all seri­ous­ness. Any­way, Thank You bglh for the photos.…I real­ly love all the ladies pictured.…Damn ms.Pam!!!…and for the his­to­ry lesson…I didn’t k now a lot of the his­to­ry.

ashlee

Wow I dis­agree com­plete­ly. I nev­er under­stood why peo­ple got offend­ed by peo­ple of oth­er cultures/ethnicities wear­ing locs and afros if it is not done to ridicule. I would like to hear your rea­sons why you find it in poor taste for peo­ple to do so.

OXxo
Some peo­ple who aren’t Black have dense curly hair which nat­u­ral­ly grows upwards. They can’t help hav­ing an Afro if they grow their hair more than a few inch­es because that’s how their hair grows. A cou­ple of them I per­son­al­ly known have got insult­ed by oth­er White peo­ple for the fact their hair doesn’t grow down. There as oth­er Black peo­ple leave them alone or give good humoured com­ments. In regards to locs on -non-Black peo­ple they actu­al­ly offend me. The White peo­ple I’ve met with them are rich kids who have their par­ents to bail them out for… Read more »
lis
Locs are “our hair­style , a Black hair­style. “.. ..inter­est­ing .…because before it was pop­u­lar­ized by Rasta­far­i­ans to Blacks there were oth­ers around the world who wore locs…such as Indi­an holy men… I won­der if whites and oth­er non blacks with straight hair were offend­ed when most Black wom­en and their moth­ers had relax­ers and now weaves.…weren’t you all copy­ing /culturally appro­pri­at­ing? their aes­thet­ics? …and not giv­ing cred­it to them. I won­der if those Indi­an holy men were both­ered by Blacks copying/appropriating..or does it only apply to whites? Put down your arms Black women.…and leave peo­ple alone because this self… Read more »
$8319184
I tend to flip flop on this issue. Black hair has so much his­to­ry attached to it, it’s more than just “hair­styles”. It’s like if non mus­lims start­ed wear­ing hijabs or burkhas say­ing it’s just fash­ion. There’s more to it than that. There’s the white per­son who’s a cul­ture vul­ture who will not only wear the hair but also want to act like he belongs with the black com­mu­ni­ty and has strug­gled like them but someo­hw mag­i­cal­ly main­tians his white priv­i­lege. Then there’s the white per­son who may wear locs but doesn’t try to claim black cul­ture or “overi­den­ti­fy” with it. But… Read more »
JenniD
I find it of poor taste because locs and afros have a sym­bol­ic mean­ing as stat­ed in the arti­cle above. That would be like me putting on a hijab cause its “cute”. Oth­er races wear­ing our hair­styles are not flat­ter­ing at all as many do it only as a way of look­ing “dif­fer­ent” or alter­na­tive. I don’t think its done out of ridicule but it ignores what some­thing stands for and waters it down. Bet you no white girl will get fired or side eyed if she came to work in trendy braid exten­sions, but a sis­ter will fret over… Read more »
cheryl

And you know it my sis­ta!

Tracienatural
Hi, ash­lee. I can’t speak for Jas Devi, but as for me, I agree. You see, if you see the world as “post-racial,” then may­be it makes no dif­fer­ence what peo­ple wear or do–people should be free to do what­ev­er, right? How­ev­er, if you see any­thing pos­i­tive about race, e.g., if you think pan-African­ist, then you see peo­ple wear­ing “black” or “African” hair­styles as cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion. Why, you ask? Because when non-black peo­ples “bor­row” black cul­ture, they claim it as their own, nev­er giv­ing homage to the black peo­ple who cre­ate it. In com­par­ison, when white peo­ple cre­ate cul­ture, you… Read more »
cheryl

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!!! I could not have expressed your sen­ti­ments bet­ter myself! Speak the truth, sis­ta!

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