When Black Hair Is Against the Rules
"The bias against black hair is as old as America itself. In the 18th century, British colonists classified African hair as closer to sheep wool than human hair. Enslaved and free blacks who had less kinky, more European-textured hair and lighter skin — often a result of plantation rape — received better treatment than those with more typically African features.
After Emancipation, straight hair continued to be the required look for access to social and professional opportunities. Most black people internalized the idea that their natural hair was unacceptable, and by the early 20th century wore it in straightened styles often achieved with dangerous chemical processes or hot combs, or they wore wigs.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that the Black Power movement declared that “black is beautiful” — and not least unstraightened natural black hair. Soon the Afro became a popular style, first at protests and political rallies and eventually on celebrities from Pam Grier to Michael Jackson.”
I am thoroughly angered that we are still fighting for our humanity. We must all be involved in this fight.