My Hair Will Always Know Me Better Than You Do.

Lexy Fenelon, Staff Writer

Have you ever been asked, “Why is your hair so hard?” Well I have, and honestly my answer since has always been “Why are you touching it?”, which generally keeps people from making further comments. Growing up in a black community, hair had never been something that I had to worry about daily. It was nappy, curly, straightened, braided, and finally locked. In April 2022, a young boy of 5 years old named Jett Hawkins asked his mother to braid his hair, and he loved the way it looked. He felt proud and happy until the administrator called his mother to say “that his hairstyle has broken school policy”. How? The answer is that he was wearing a natural black style. How can a young child, a black child, move on from the fact that since his hair is different, he breaks “policies”? My hair is just as different. It’s locked, curly at the roots, sometimes untamed and lengthy, but it stays hair. However, according to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, being asked by a workplace to cut your locks in order to comply with the company’s grooming policy is not a case worth fighting for. The court dismissed a lawsuit against a company that refused to hire a black woman because she would not cut her dreadlocks. Does it mean that in the future, as a teenager whose dream is to become a clinical psychologist and lawyer, I’ll have to cut my long train of ancestry due to an organization’s inability to accept it? That sounds a bit wrong to anyone whose hair is distinct. 

So moving to Minnesota has been life-changing. It was the first time I had to worry about my hair looking “approximately” similar to the people around me. It doesn’t bother me much to be honest, because my hope is that I won’t feel that way for long. But I do pray that ignorance in society clears itself out so that people don’t “comment” or point out things that are different in a rude manner. Remember that educating yourself by asking questions is not commenting with ignorance! Stay positive and accomplished! God bless!