On different occasions, two Black travelers were recently stopped by Transportation Security Administration officials as they made their way through airport security, the New York Times reports. Their offense? Having natural hair.
TSA officers told both women that their big, curly hair had to be manually searched even though neither of them set off alarms when passing through body scanners. To make matters worse, there were White female travelers in line sporting “bushy” hair who were not required to undergo hair pat-downs.
“Is it just African-American women with natural hair who get the hair search?” Timery Shante Nance asked the officer in the San Antonio Airport from which she was departing. Both Timery and Laura Adiele, the second naturalista who had her hair checked, have spoken out, saying that the actions of the TSA officers were inappropriate and racially motivated.
Timery’s question made us wonder, “Do naturalistas face unfair biases not only in the airport, but in the real world too?” I can honestly — and thankfully — say that my kinky mane hasn’t garnered any unfair treatment for me, but these sistas’ stories make me think more deeply about why people still have hangups about hair.
Have you ever been treated unfairly because of your natural hair?