In Tulsa Oklahoma a 7-year old girl, Tiana Parker, had switched schools after she was told that she would not be allowed to wear her hairstyle of choice. Tiana’s father, Terrence Parker, was told by Deborah Brown Community School officials that her hairstyle did not look “presentable,” according to local outlet KOKI-TV. “She’s always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice,” explained Terrence, who is a barber.
The video below is by Melissa Harris Perry, host of her own show on MSNBC, tackles big stories about Black hair.
People of African descent have hair that is so absolutely amazing, authentic, beautiful and unique! In my opinion, Tiana choosing to wear her hair in locks is not a distraction (as in something wrong or deviant) but a threat to the status quo. Regardless of how racism shows its ugly face, the natural hair community is increasing!
A representative of the Deborah Brown Community school emailed The Huffington Post which said, “The parent of the student in question elected to choose a forbidden hairstyle which is detailed in the school policy. The parent was asked to change the hairstyle, however on Friday, August 30th, the parent choose to dis-enroll her child from our program.”
As it turns out, the charter school’s dress code specifically says “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.”
Since when does a faddish hairstyle sets the standard for learning? For people of African, Nubian, Moorish and Indigenous descent our hair is our crowning glory and it expresses who we are as a person without saying one word. I give Melissa Harris Perry props for this video and for other segments about the politics of black women’s hair. The corporate world enforces company policy to perpetuate racism by prohibiting the wearing of certain hairstyles of ethnic people. The natural hair movement is rooted in giving black women confidence to accept their natural beauty in a way mainstream magazines generally fail to do.
This is not the first time a school has come under fire for banning certain hairstyles.In June an Ohio school received criticism for banning students from wearing “afro-puffs and small twisted braids.” Amid a public outcry, however, the school ultimately apologized and revoked the policy.