Extremely happy that I can confidently have an Afro hairstyle at an important event and royal visit earlier this year.
World Afro Day celebrates the afro and all other hairstyles worn by black and mixed-race people and all elements of afro hair, culture, and identity. It also educates people to understand more about afro hair and hairstyles.
Carol Ann WhiteheadContributor
The #CROWN Act stands for Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural hair, and it is a California law that prevents discrimination against afros and other natural hairstyles.
In the music business ‘Scary Spice’ was called scary because she was the confident, black one with an Afro, let’s face it Ginger was the real scary one.
World Afro Day is celebrated on September 15 worldwide every year. The day celebrates the natural hair of people from black and mixed-race ethnicities, normalizes afros, and prevents discrimination based on hair.
When Africans were enslaved, they were forced to conform to the hairstyles and clothing of their enslavers. Their natural hair texture was seen as undesirable, so even after enslaved people were freed, societal pressures forced them to modify their natural hair.
The process of changing naturally kinky and coiled hair into the straight, smooth hair that was seen as desirable was not easy. Even today, the process of straightening and smoothing extremely coiled hair requires expensive substances that must be applied by professionals.
These chemicals can cause burns, hair loss, and damage to the hair over time.
Apart from the physical damage, people with naturally coiled hair have faced discrimination because their hair was unfairly seen as messy or unkempt. This led people to believe that their hair was not attractive and would also lead to them losing out on job opportunities as employers would discriminate against them.
With the advent of the Civil Rights movement, more black people adopted the afro as a simple, easy-to-maintain hairstyle that did not require them to change the natural texture of their hair.
Today, World Afro Day celebrates the afro and all other hairstyles worn by black and mixed-race people and all elements of afro hair, culture, and identity. It also educates people to understand more about afro hair and hairstyles.
A decade earlier it would have been frowned on in professional life (and to be honest, it still is, it’s just dressed up in micro aggressive comments).