The OverExplainer: We Are Only Just Now Stopping Black Hair Discrimination

Black people’s hair has always been a war-zone.
Danielle Young Mar, 15, 2019

Black hair discrimination is a tale as old as time. If we look back on history, we’d see that slaves weren’t allowed to rock their natural hair. It was either cut or covered and most times both.

But now, in 2019 (better late than never?), New York City amended a human rights law for those who discriminate against the hair that naturally grows out of Black people’s scalps.

The amended guidelines state the following:

“Bans or restrictions on natural hair or hairstyles associated with Black people are often rooted in White standards of appearance and perpetuate racist stereotypes that Black hairstyles are unprofessional. Such policies exacerbate anti-Black bias in employment, at school, while playing sports and in other areas of daily living.” Period! I added the period.

Black people’s hair has always been a war zone.

Whether it’s been touched by unwanted hands or rejected by employers, schools or complete strangers, Black hair follicles are tired boss. Critics of Black hairstyles, whether natural or enhanced, often claim said hair is messy, a distraction, unprofessional or unclean.

New York City is changing things, but will the other 49 United States follow suit? Check out The OverExplainer above.