Black Hair Essay

983 Words4 Pages
Black hair has been a vital feature of African American history. Since the beginning of African civilization, elaborate hairstyles have been used as an expression of one’s culture and a mere indicator of a person’s identity, whether it be their family background, tribe, religion, social status or marital status. The Transatlantic Slave Trade was the beginning of the destruction and fracturing of these African customs and stripping these individuals of their culture. The bias against black hair has dated back to the years of slavery, where black hair was classified as sheep wool and not human hair. Some slaves were forced to cover their natural hair or wear wigs made from white people’s hair. Because of this dehumanization, during the 19th century…show more content…
In recent cases, black women have not only struggled to be hired but have also been fired from jobs because their natural hair is prohibited in the workplace. One of the biggest challenge of being a black female in corporate America is choosing appropriate hairstyles for a professional environment. In 2013, Ashley Davis had joined the list of the many women who had faced discrimination because of their hair after Fox 2 St. Louis reported that Tower Loan threatened to fire their 24-year-old employee when she refused to cut her dreadlocks off. As a result of this continuous bias against black hair, for interviews, most black females opt for straighter hair after years of been repeatedly told that their hair is unprofessional. The issue on black hair is rather ubiquitous as 26,000 black women was affected by the Army’s appearance and grooming policy that severely limited and banned basic and essential hairstyles. Although they are not the first to impose these restrictions, The New York Times reported that “it may be the most egregious.” The Army has the right to impose conservative codes, however, the diversity of the people who are willing to die for their country should be…show more content…
“Good” hair has become a prerequisite to be considered for a job or to be allowed in some schools. Institution policies have violated black bodies in many instances where black people were not considered humans unless they conformed to chemically or manually altering who they are. Black hair is not a crime and a black person wearing their natural hair should not be a revolutionary act. For generations, the dominance of the white culture has been reflected through the way blacks wore their hair. African Americans have constantly been forced to compromise their authenticity to fit the white man’s standards. One group of people should not have to compromise their behavior and appearance to gain human rights. The dehumanization of Black American females has contributed to internalized racism, self-hatred and self-policing seen today in black women and needs to come to an
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