4 Black Women in Media Who Advocate to Normalize Natural Hair

I’ve a dream that sooner or later this nation will stand up and reside out the true that means of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whether then or now, Black ladies have been striving to voice themselves and acquire the visibility they deserve. We know the highly effective legacies of the ladies in The March on Washington on August 28, 1963. And we all know that sadly, we nonetheless have a great distance to go earlier than we will lastly solely dismantle discriminatory requirements.

Despite the Civil Rights Act, Afrocentric options had been nonetheless deemed inferior and other people of shade, particularly Black ladies, have been marginalized in their workplaces. They have been pressured to seem as somebody they aren’t. Even worse, their circumstances have been denied in courts, with the Supreme Court deciding to ignore discrimination in opposition to Black hair.

Black ladies in broadcast media have been on the frontline going through the eternal backlashes of white supremacists after they attempt to be their actual, genuine selves on-air. They have been evaluated in accordance to how they seemed, quite than their very own experience and competencies. If something, such willingness to reclaim their energy, and nonetheless signify the true fantastic thing about textured hair has amplified their voices, together with the voices of each fed-up lady who finds themselves discriminated in opposition to due to their pure hair texture.

Here are 4 ladies in media who stood up for his or her proper to be who they’re, and put on their pure hair.

Tashara Parker

Tashara Parker is a community-focused storyteller identified for her #BunMinistry hashtag. She is the creator of CultureD on WFAA-TV. Parker went viral in October 2020 after going on-air sporting her pure bun.

Starting her on-air journey with WFAA-TV in 2019, Parker has worn her pure hair from the start, advocating each on-air and on her social media profiles for the professionalism of textured hair, asking her well-known rhetorical query: “Who determines what’s professional?”

“The reaction from the community has been largely supportive, but of course there are critics,” Parker informed TODAY over electronic mail. “I’ve been told in the past by a viewer … ‘You look like you stuck your hand in an electrical socket,’ referring to my natural curl pattern.”

Parker’s robust #RepresentationMatters stance has impressed many younger women to embrace their pure hair as properly.

Angela Rye

“I received regular notes from a viewer who liked to respond to my 2016 election reporting by letting me know that my hair made me look like ‘a wet dog’,” Angela Rye, CNN political commentator and NPR political analyst, informed Glamour. “That is the magic of black hair: It exposes much of what’s hiding under the surface.”

In their e book Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, Ayana Byrd and Lori L. Tharps clarify the deep-rooted historical past of hair discrimination. “The light-skinned slaves were said to have ‘good hair,’ and the dark-skinned slaves to have ‘bad hair’,” the e book clarifies. “Good hair was thought of as long and lacking in kink, tight curls, and frizz. And the straighter the better. Bad hair was the antithesis, namely African hair in its purest form.”

The “Good Hair” research by Perception Institute demonstrates that solely 10 % of white ladies “feel social pressure” when it got here to straightening their hair for work, in distinction to 20 % of Black ladies who has pressured to accomplish that.

“When someone recently suggested that I shouldn’t wear my hair curly on TV,” Rye added, “My response was, ‘for little Black girls everywhere, I’m going to wear it curly!’”

Corallys Ortiz

Just like Parker and Rye, Corallys Ortiz, WBBJ TV meteorologist and multimedia journalist, began her #NaturalHairOnAir journey when she wore her pure curls on air — solely to be met by racial slurs for showing along with her pure hair as an alternative of merely specializing in the job she was doing as a meteorologist.

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Ortiz determined to publish a video of one of many adverse messages she obtained on her Facebook profile in order to tackle the battle that Black ladies and ladies of shade have to undergo in their workplaces simply due to the wonder requirements set by white supremacists.

“In the TV industry there is a ‘standard’ in which people are made to have their hair worn,” Ortiz wrote on her Facebook profile. “The issue with this is that it always targets and pressures women of color to present their hair in ways that are unnatural just for the sake of having their hair look ‘professional.’ For years on end, women of color have always been told their hair wasn’t professional or ‘neat’ enough for the workplace, and for years, women of color would have to adhere to ‘white beauty standards’ in order to get ahead.”

Even earlier than the passing of The CROWN Act — an acronym for “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair” — in the House earlier in 2020, many Black ladies and ladies of shade working in media have been dismantling hair discrimination in their workplaces even after they know the gravity of them sporting their pure hair — which led to having a few of them fired.

“I think representation matters,” Ortiz informed Glamour. “I’ve had viewers tell me they appreciate me being myself because they see how their daughters, who have the same hair type as me, feel more confident. That’s so important.”

Sia Nyorkor

Sia Nyorkor, a chapter director and board member for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), was additionally pressured by her managers to straighten her hair when she went to her office along with her hair braided. “What’s going on with your hair? We like it the way it was before. Please put it back,” she quoted her managers to Yahoo Entertainment.

Not caring a lot about getting the job the following time she utilized for one, Nyorkor simply determined that she would put on her pure hair — and to her shock, they allowed her.

“I came back, and I said, you know what, I don’t want to put my hair away, and I don’t want to straighten it,” Nyorkor added. “I just want to wear it the way it is. So, I just did it. I didn’t ask for permission, I just did it.”

Do you put on your hair naturally? Have you skilled discrimination due to it? Slide in our DMs at @muslimgirl on Twitter and Instagram and inform us your story.

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