Show Transcript
We've got a hairy situation. For years, black women have complained of being targeted by TSA for unnecessary screenings because of their natural hair. After pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, the TSA has finally agreed to refrain, excuse me, retrain security officers with an emphasis on hair pat downs of black female travelers. TSA also agreed to specifically track hair pat down complaints. Filed by black women to determine whether discriminatory practices are still occurring. Some of you may remember that [UNKNOWN] called this out on her social media a couple years ago, how her hair was searched. Are we shading or slaying [UNKNOWN]. Ooh, shade, shade, and slay. Okay, Demetria, I have to start with you, love. Okay, so I've been one of those girls who's a victim of a pat-down, and it's completely dehumanizing. It, it makes you feel like crap. I've cried on airplanes because of it. Like, it's just, someone you don't know, putting their dirty fingers, gloved or otherwise, all up in your head. I'm like, they're in there, they itch your scalp, and I'm like, what are you searching for? Like, have I, like, put drugs in my brain? I don't know what you're in there for. But it's just like, someone who's not of your culture, especially just all in there, fluffing around, it just makes you feel nasty. Do you feel like this is something that they should have done sooner? It should never have been instituted in the first place. I don't understand what you think I'm carrying. In my hair. Right. Like, it's strands of hair, it's, it's bigger, it's coily, it's kinkier than, maybe, Euro hair. Mm-hm. But it's hair, what am I hiding in here? And there are people who travel with large Euro hair- Mm-hm. If you will. I like that term, Euro hair, I'm gonna use it. [LAUGH] But it's true. Right. Like an up-do, or a messy top knot, or something along those lines. But you don't see them asking white girls to take down their buns. That is true. No. Very, very true. Like- That is a very valid point. If you could have all manner of. Anything I've been there I'm sure That's a very valid point. Rae has your natural been searched? You know, I do want to say that they definitely caught Solange on the right day cause you know she gets busy. Yes And so I do also think that it's very very ridiculous because of this for years. because of this for years I just put my hair in my bag because I just, you know I'm in a cab there and I just put it in because I don't have time Let it breath I do a fro sometimes. It's like a mohawk. I just don't have time for that type of, you know, time. [CROSSTALK] [LAUGH] No, but I really do think that it's ridiculous, and from the very moment. And I heard this, I was just like, it's about time they actually did this. Well, I said slay because I think we, as black women, are constantly having to teach people how to treat us, and this was an incident now on the books, it's legal, we've taken the government to court to say, you cannot go through my hair. And so I think it's a great win for us and I think it's great any time that any woman for the person, the TSA agent that hasn't been educated to know that this is now legally on the books. So it's great moment and I think it's inspiration for us to continue to share. So it's like when Demetria's hair gets patted through that. Because so many women spoke up, we actually have a real back up now. And, you know, something I'm curious about, and I should have looked into it a little bit further, if you were to have said, no, I wonder, could you get passed to the, to the upper room? I would have to go over to, like, the private side, and then they do, like, the whole scan, they go through all your stuff. Wow. Oh this is intense. And you trying to catch a flight, so it's like, you just trying to get back home. So that's how they treat you when you have, like weapons on you. Still feel something, that little room. Yes. [CROSSTALK] No, I didn't go to a little room. I just went off to the side. [CROSSTALK] You know, they put that little white cloth on, and they start scanning, and I'm just like, what? [LAUGH]

Box Braids Are The Reason These Two Black Girls Could Be Suspended

Fifteen-year-old twins were served multiple detentions and were threatened with suspension because of their hairstyle.


You would think that in 2017, educators would understand the diversity in hairstyles when it comes to people of color.

Without dwelling on texture and haircare differences that allot for more complex hairstyles beyond up, down and in french braids— two Black students at a school just outside of Boston could face suspension for their box braids.

Fifteen-year-old twins, Deanna and Mya Cook were served multiple detentions and were threatened with suspension from Mystic Valley Regional Charter School because their hair violates school dress code.

Cook family

As reported by The Boston Globe, the school’s student handbook states that hair extensions are prohibited, as are hair coloring, makeup, nail polish, and tattoos. The girls’ mother, Colleen Cook said she understands a policy that bans nail polish and hair color, rules that would affect children equally but not hair.

“They teach them at a very high academic level and I appreciate that, and that’s why they go to the school,” Cook said. “But, unfortunately, they don’t have any sensitivity to diversity at all.”

The girls have been forced to sit in detention an hour before school starts and nearly an hour after. And they’ve been kicked out of after-school sports and banned from the prom. Cook who adopted the girls, in addition to their three other siblings, says that administrators have targeted students of color.

“They marched Black and biracial children down the hall” to inspect their hair, she said.

The NAACP and the state’s Anti-Defamation League have been called in to assist in the matter, but for the time being the girls and other students are facing a tough time in school.

“[Their hair] gives them pride,” Cook contends. “They want to partake in their culture.”