Shannon Green is a writer for the Orlando Sentinel, she’s also a mother to a beautiful two-year-old daughter. As a journalist, you can imagine that her schedule is pretty busy. So busy that sometimes she just doesn’t have time to fight her daughter to do her hair in a protective style. In her op-ed for the Orlando Sentinel, she wrote, “Honestly speaking, I consider giving birth to my now 2-year-old an easier task than styling her hair. My c-section took about 20 minutes, and I got fancy drugs to subdue the pain. Now, I get slapped and kicked by a 25-pound mixed martial arts champion for two hours while attempting to detangle her thick mane before parting it into neat sections to brain in beautiful, protective styles.” She explained, “It’s a fight I wasn’t up for after one strenuous bout last month so I skipped styling and sent her to daycare the next day with an afro.”
While an afro is a natural hairstyle for black girls and women a daycare worker found an issue with the hairstyle. Green shared, “This person was so bothered by my child’s hairstyle that she even asked me – in front of her boss – ‘Would you go to the office with your hair looking like that?'”
For decades we have dealt with discrimination in the office, is daycare now the new frontier? An early start at giving our children anxiety regarding their curls? There has been so many reports of children and adults facing bias against their hair. Whether it’s Aveda charging extra for a ‘texture fee’ or Wal-Mart placing beauty products behind doors. There are also situations where our children are being attacked, like in 2018 when a New Jersey high school wrestler was forced to cut his dreadlocks before a match, humiliated in front of fans because a referee misunderstood the rules.
Green was shocked that she was experiencing this with her own child and wrote, “What is office hair in 2019? Was she suggesting my 2-year-old needed office hair for finger painting? Does my daughter’s daycare workplace have a grooming policy requiring me to by her a blazer, too?”
Green’s toddler was not removed or dismissed from daycare regarding her hairstyle, however, Green did report that “the daycare worker got a verbal lashing from me.” It’s important for Green to stick up for her daughter, especially since the child can’t clearly advocate for herself.
California, New York, and New Jersey have all implemented hair discrimination laws; however, now Florida is trying to do the same. Orlando Senator Randolph Bracy and Representative Kamia Brown are pushing legislation to help protect African American hairstyles in the workplace and educational institutions. Afros are already under federal protection by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as they are defined as hair texture.
Beauties, what do you think about this daycare worker policing this toddler’s afro? Sound off in our comment section.
You can read Shannon Green’s op-ed on the situation at the Orlando Sentinel.