The annual holiday is going on its 5th anniversary on Wednesday, September 15th.
World Afro Day is a day to commemorate the crowns of beautiful Black women and women of color who have constantly driven the force of the hair industry in many ways. Afros are just one out of many of the styles that have been appropriated and discriminated against for centuries on end, however, World Afro Day is here to combat hair discrimination, and to help raise awareness on a national and global scale.
“World Afro Day is a global day of change, education and celebration of Afro hair; endorsed by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights, said founder of World Afro Day in commentary about the holiday. “We work with families, schools and authorities to tackle discrimination against Afro hair. We carry out research, create events and produce resources to empower people with Afro hair and raise awareness in wider society.”
World Afro Day was set in place back in September 2017 due to an overwhelming amount of hair discrimination often displayed by jobs and companies. Michelle De Leon grew tiresome of the discrimination she often saw after a strict hair law was passed in the state of Alabama allowing companies to deny new hires as a result of their hair.
“Straight hair is considered the epitome of success and beauty and it is promoted every day, through fairytales, films, television, social media, consumer products and advertising etc.
Afro-hair is rarely celebrated, especially globally and World Afro Day seeks to change this.” - World Afro Day’s Vision Statement
Hair discrimination has harmfully affected Black women and their mindset towards how they perceive and view their own hair. According to Forbes, Black women are 80% more likely than white women to feel as though they have to constantly change their natural hair state to feel accepted, and with straight hair as a constant beauty standard that’s often pressured on Black women, it’s now more pivotal than ever that we highlight the importance behind World Afro Day and its effect on the Black community.
In support of the ongoing coalition for equal hair representation, World Afro Day has established the Big Hair Assembly in honor of Afro Day’s fifth anniversary. The event will take place on September 15th during a Livestream and will feature Yolanda Brown (Broadcaster and award-winning saxophonist), Tashara Parker (News 8 Daybreak Anchor), Tais Vinolo (Ballet star of the Amazon advert), and Alice Dearing (The first Black female swimmer to represent Britain in the Tokyo Olympics.)
The Big Hair Assembly will take place in the UK and will be live streamed internationally for schools, students, and families all around the world in honor of World Afro Day on September, 15th.