Natural Hair Politics All Over the News!

Aaaand We’re Back!

Hey folks! So I take a few measly days off to do this thing called “birth my daughter” and it seems like the politics surrounding natural hair just BLOW UP!

Yes, you heard that correctly. #BabyGirlFavors made her arrival! She is a six pound seven ounce chocolate drop of awesome and #HubbyFavors, #LilDudeFavors and I have been spending some time getting to know her and enjoy our new family configuration.

And yes, she has a head full of hair! I know, I’m sorry but I couldn’t resist! LOL

But anyway, as I was saying over the past few days there has been a ton of stories about the politics of Black hair. For one thing, comedian Sheryl Underwood was forced to apologize for denigrating Black hair as “nasty.” No really. She said that. On national television.

Sheryl Underwood Thinks Natural Hair is Nasty. Seriously.

Trust I will address that incident in its own post.

It also seems that another school district has decided that Black natural hair is something White people and White institutions can regulate. Yes. Seriously. A small part of me mistakenly thought that the last time a school determined that Black hair was “inappropriate” when worn in its natural state that a lesson had been learned.

After all, the school district in that earlier incident was forced to change its policy banning natural hairstyles once the power of Black women on the web showed its lovely natural head.  But it seems that this is a lesson that needs to be reinforced on a regular basis. So here’s a reminder for the Deborah Brown Community School in Oklahoma. This is the school that banned a straight A student because her locks were “faddish” and banned by school policy.

As I’ve said before:

If you are White and my hair makes you uncomfortable—you need to assess your racism and process that in your own space. But using your power to make policy that discriminates against my hair is a violation of my civil and human rights (aka it’s racist). If you are Black and my hair makes you uncomfortable—you need to assess your internalized White supremacy and work that out on your own time (That was for you Hampton University!). But using your discomfort to make me uncomfortable is a throwback to Black overseers and is a powerful reminder of the injury self hate can cause.

And finally, there’s the case of the Black female, natural haired pastor who declared that only “white people” would be allowed to greet church attendees. Yes. Pastor Makeeda Pennycooke executive pastor at a predominantly Black church, sent an email that informed

volunteers that fall is one of the busiest times of year for the church. “We anticipate having an increase in the number of people visiting and attending Freedom House over the next few weeks,” Pastor Pennycooke says in the email. She then says that “first impressions matter” and says the church wants “the best of the best on the front doors.” “We are continuing to work to bring our racial demographic pendulum back to mid-line,” she continued in the email. “So we would like to ask that only white people be on the front doors.”

Now this story doesn’t address natural hair specifically. However, when you see the picture of Pastor Pennycooke, it is clear that she is a very pretty naturalista.  I’ll have more to say about this in its own post, but for now just know that we need to remember “all our kin folk ain’t our skin folk.”

makeda-pennycooke

Natural Hair Pastor Pennycooke thinks only Whites should be church greeters.

There are a lot of folks who presume that just because a woman wears natural hair that she is “down for the cause” or on the right side of race issues. Let this be a warning to you. There are some folks who wear Afros the size of igloos who will sell the community out. And there are some folks who wear perms that lay flatter than pancakes who will ride or die for their people.

Alright folks, that’s my brief recap for today. I hear my newborn crying and it’s time for her to eat. But I will be back to address all of these (and more) issues in future posts. Looking forward to reconnecting with you!

Opt In Image

Afro State of Mind: The Destination for Smart & Sassy Naturals!

Challenging our beliefs about Black hair, skin color, identity & race.

Rethink everything from an Afro State of Mind...

#DearSheriffLott: Sex With Black People Can’t Cure Racism

Dear Sheriff Leon Lott, It's amazing that I'm using the phrase “sex with Black people” in the title of an open letter. But that’s what happens when someone with your level of … [Continue Reading]

White Supremacy: What it is and How it Operates

“If you don’t understand white supremacy, what it is and how it operates, everything you think you understand will only confuse you.” Neely Fuller, Jr. I’ve heard the words “White … [Continue Reading]

4 Lessons Shea Moisture’s Fail Can Teach Black Businesses Owners

Shea Moisture is a Black owned hair care company in the middle of a racial identity branding crisis. It’s a racial identity branding crisis of such epic proportions that Rachel … [Continue Reading]

Karen’s Body Beautiful: 10 Years and Beyond

As a resident member of the 7M Hair Type Category let me assure you that not all natural hair products are created equal. Neither are the companies that create the … [Continue Reading]

About Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq.

Comments

  1. I totally agree with you. I am a natutalista as well and when I first went natural I was surprised by the negative comments and associations. Natural hair is celebration of oneself, a history that is unspoken, so how is that not beautiful? Everytime the black community tries to express themselves we are always shunned. Why? The way my hair grows out is fine, why are we the only culture affected by this awful stereotype? Instead of totally dismissing it with ignorance be informed. Now everyone doesn’t have to like it, but respect my choice. Natural hair is beautiful and always has been.

Speak Your Mind

*