Black hair has endured the brunt of many public scrutinies, microaggression and sheer violence. Conversations about Black hair are often riddled with controversy, further highlighting that Black hair will always be a political thing.

Historically, It Has Been A Gauge

Black women have had their looks examined, judged and scrutinized from a young age. Most of society has told Black women that to be pretty, they need to straighten their hair in some form or apply chemicals or relaxers to make it more “presentable.” This has been rampant in many parts of history.

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Its History Is Complex

The history of Black hair and its significance to Black history is complex and not often discussed. Despite the strides that society has taken to erase the painful memories behind racial discrimination and Blackness, hair is a big part of the story that is firmly intertwined.

Photo Credit: Leighann Blackwood

It Evokes Emotion

Numerous stories about Black people being discriminated against because of their hair have been rampant online, triggering outrage and public disapproval. Black hair is a phenomenon that triggers emotion, both good and bad, and like everything political, that emotion often initiates action.

 

Photo Credit: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

It Is Deeply Personal

Black hair is highly personal and, in many ways, symbolizes how people view themselves through the lens of identity. For many people, rocking their hair in whatever style they deem fit is a direct rebellion toward eurocentric-centered standards of beauty.

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It Is A Civil Rights Issue

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It Is Polarizing

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It Is Prominent In Pop Culture

Even with the challenges that riddle representation in Hollywood as far as Black hair care goes, it has been a centerpiece in pop culture. For example, some of the most iconic hairstyles in entertainment have come from Black artists who have rocked their tresses with exuded confidence and creativity.

 

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It Continues To Evolve

Black hair will always be a topic of conversation in the court of public opinion. Because Black hair is a phenomenon that people are constantly curious about, conversations around it continue to evolve and become reshaped with the times. This is one of the most prominent reasons it will always be political.

Photo Credit: Leighann Blackwood

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