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By: Kamara Taylor
It’s amazing to me how individuals are perceived and judged on different criteria. As African Americans are still working diligently to assimilate into a country that we were unwillingly brought into, our skin tone is no longer a good enough factor to expand our possibilities of growth academically and in the workforce.
When compared to my peers and colleagues, my hair is considered a “better” grade due to its fine and curly texture. As I pondered on the thought of locking my hair with a friend, she warned me that I would limit myself in the job market and perhaps damage the opportunity of climbing the academic ladder as a professor.
It made me think about how we continue to be profiled. Whether you’re considered a threat as a young Black man wearing a hoody or an intelligent Black woman wearing a natural hair style, we continue to be judged and limited by what we wear and how we wear our hair.
This is the same mentality that considered Blacks to be three fifths of a person, while others were considered a whole person. India Arie’s song “I Am Not My Hair” states ‘If it’s not what’s on your head, it’s what’s underneath’. How many more excuses will be created to limit our growth?
Therefore, I will lock it up and remain the same woman I’ve always been regardless of the fact that my hair is worn naturally curly, blow dried straight or dreaded. I am not my hair.
Masters of Art Political Science
Phd candidate Cognitive and Instructional Psychology