In yet another episode of White People Being Too Damn Concerned About Black People’s Hair, seventeen-year-old Jenesis Johnson, a student at North Florida Christian in Tallahassee, Florida was reprimanded for wearing
the God-given hair that grows out of her head an afro. Jenesis’s teacher asked her, “How long are you rocking that hairstyle?” Okay, let me start there. Rocking that hairstyle? You mean the hair that grows out of her scalp? After this question, two days later Jenesis was called to the office and told by the assistant principal that her hair was, “extreme and faddish and out of control. It’s all over the place.” She was also told that her hair violates the school hair policy because you know, White people love to make policies about Black people’s hair. The policy states, “No faddish or extreme hairstyles, and hair should be neat and clean at all times. The administration will make the decision on any questionable styles.”
A fad is Khloe Kardashian rocking Bantu knots and acting like she invented them. A fad is Kim Kardashian rocking cornrows and trying to the pass them off as “boxer braids”.Wearing the hair that naturally comes from your head is not a fad. It is not extreme, and it is certainly not questionable.
This hair policing extends beyond Black women with college graduate, basketball star and NBA prospect Nigel Hayes.Hayes received a letter from
While White America is frightened by Black students rejecting what they say is “neat” and “acceptable” hair in the classroom, White males like Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris (two students that executed one of the worst mass shootings in America at Columbine High School) with “nice” haircuts are shooting up your schools. Perhaps White America needs to stop worrying about Black people’s hair because clearly there are some more pressing issues that should be on your agenda and believe me Black hair is not one of them.
What is it with White America and this incessant need to police Black people’s hair? I do not understand why Black people’s hair is ALWAYS on some White people’s agenda. It is as if some White people wake up every morning wondering how they can focus on a Black person’s hair. What is it about Black hair that intimidates you? What is it about Black hair that scares you? What is it about Black hair that makes you covet our hairstyles and attempt to pass them off as your own? What is it about Black hair that sends a vibe through your hand that you must reach out and touch it? Why does White America get to set the standard on what is acceptable for Black hair?
I believe what bothers White America about Black hair is that they cannot control it, and they cannot contain it. They do not like to see Black people in their natural state. They get nervous when Black people start embracing who they are. They are worried when Black people start rejecting White norms. They are intimidated to see a Black woman standing in all her natural glory. They are fearful to see a Black man with his natural hair being great. Because they don’t know what is coming next. They are frightened by Black people embracing their hair and who they are because they want Black people to stay in their place, conform, go along to get along, stay in the box of oppression that they have built for Black people. They are aware that once Black people begin to realize who they are they will no longer be content being confined, regulated and oppressed. And that is what it is really about. It was never about the hair. It is always about Black Liberation.
Feature Photo: Brianna Wright