Natural Hair Discrimination: Other People’s Problem With Our Hair

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A North Carolina school district employee has filed a discrimination lawsuit. She claims she was “humiliated” after several of her white colleagues signed a petition deeming her natural hair “unprofessional” and “inappropriate” for the workplace, The Charlotte Observer reports.

Source: [wp_colorbox_media url=”” type=”iframe” hyperlink=”Lawsuit: Black School Worker ‘Humiliated’ After Colleagues Sign Petition Calling Her Hair ‘Unprofessional’ and ‘Inappropriate’ for Work”]

It’s an absolute outrage that approaching 2020 we are still fighting for the right to exist as we are. That natural hair discrimination is even a thing says a lot about the current state of race relations and inclusivity. California is the first to ban natural hair discrimination following a trend of blacks being treated unfairly on that basis. We’ve all heard the stories of awkward and humiliating encounters with TSA, in the workplace, and in schools. It seems that rather we are consumers, employees, educators, or students our hair is a problem for some people. Still, for someone to feel authorized and privileged enough to deem another person’s natural hair inappropriate requires such audacity. Unfortunately, it’s also very common.

Natural hair discrimination on top of regular ole discrimination & life!

Many black men and women who leave the workforce for a while then return or who wants access to better opportunities face this mind baffling decision to remain true to their heritage and themselves or to change their hair to conform to the expectation of predominately white culture. This is especially true in southern states like North Carolina and my home state, Louisiana but is prevalent from the U.S. to Europe. For example, my friend had to decide to keep her natural hair or relax it as she reentered the workforce. Another friend cut his dreads when he was promoted. There really is no shortage of examples when it comes to this topic. It is preposterous to me that a breast cancer survivor’s first decision after recovery is about her natural hair. Likewise, a black man who has worked hard to demonstrated his worthiness for promotion has to cut the dreads he had while earning it., a breast cancer survivor, Nonetheless, I faced the same decision when I fished grad school. I wondered if my natural hair would limit my opportunities.


Why should we have to entertain this question at all? Why can’t my hair just be my hair? Can’t I enjoy the freedom of washing my hair in the morning and going to work like my white female coworkers?

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