Black hair is one aspect of Black history that should always be celebrated but is worth special attention for Black History Month, especially when it’s constantly under attack.
Just in January, DeAndre Arnold made national news when he was suspended and told he couldn’t attend his high school graduation because he didn’t adhere to the school district’s dress code and cut his dreadlocks. The rules allow dreadlocks and long hair for male students, however, they can’t go below the ear lobes or eyebrows, and it has to be above the top of a t-shirt collar. Arnold’s dreadlocks go below his shoulder.
Eventually, Arnold received support from people like Gabrielle Union and he even attended the Oscars along with the creatives behind the Oscar-winning short movie about Black hair called “Hair Love”. The writer and director for the movie, Matthew A. Cherry, has been promoting The CROWN Act which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” It’s a law “that prohibits discrimination based on hair style and hair texture,” according to the legislation’s website.
The site continues:
“First introduced in California in January 2019 by Senator Holly Mitchell (District 30), the CROWN Act expanded the definition of race in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Education Code, to ensure protection in workplaces and in K-12 public and charter schools. The inaugural CROWN Act was signed into law by Governor Newsom in California on July 3rd and went into effect January 1, 2020.”
So far, California, New York and New Jersey are the three states who’ve signed The CROWN Act into law and in December 2019, “Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) introduced The CROWN Act of 2019 in both chambers of U.S. Congress paving the way for federal protections.”
So yes, hair (and hang time) is political.
Luckily, we still have celebrity men who’ve been rocking long hair for years proving you can still be successful with braids, dreadlocks, cornrows, or whatever fits your fancy. Check out some of the guys leading the way below.
1. Allen IversonSource:Getty
A.I. once cut his hair in 2009, but today it seems he can’t and won’t let go. Forever and ever.
2. Kawhi LeonardSource:Getty
All-Star hang time.
3. Pusha TSource:Getty
Luxurious rap, luxurious braids.
4. A$AP RockySource:Getty
Braids for days.
Not braids perse, but the singer will have his dreads braided, twisted and complete with hang time if necessary.
Black hair matters! No matter how much or little you have!
7. Snoop DoggSource:Getty
Once again, more dreads than braids…but with hair as long as Snoop’s, he can hook it up any way he wants.
8. Nipsey HussleSource:Getty