When the word “dreadlocks” was trending on Twitter the other day, it wasn’t a celebration of the beauty of this natural hairstyle that many Black folks around the world love to rock.
Sadly, it was trending because of the same ol’ racist propaganda that this hairstyle deters African-Americans’ success, is somehow unprofessional, and is a symbol not taking one’s future seriously.
See, it all started with a pic that went viral showing Sally Hardgrove, some deranged looking white woman, cutting off a Black boy’s dreads so he can have “a better life.” To add insult to injury, Hardgrove’s Chicago-based organization, Crusher Club, will receive a portion of the $400,000 Jay-Z, Roc Nation, and the NFL vowed to donate to Windy City youth organizations in the name of their “Inspire Change” program.
This is the chess y’all said Hova was playing?
Well, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to not only take back the narrative but shift it to reflect our reality: Assimilation and respectability politics won’t save black folks. That, and our natural hair is beautiful.
“Let’s replace those images of a Trump supporter gleefully cutting a young black man’s locs to give him a “better life”… with the beauty and majesty of life with locs. If you adorn yourself with natural locs, share your pictures with the hashtag #loclife. I’ll start. xo,” the When They See Us creator tweeted, showing an array of photos of her proudly rocking her dreads.
DuVernay’s call to action worked, with thousands replying to her to post showcasing pics of their own dreadlocks. Just take a look at all this Black beauty…you can literally get lost in it.
I've experienced hair discrimination at work, so waited to loc my hair until I had positions with some autonomy. Currently I'm an Executive Director of an HIV/AIDS non-profit and a doctoral student. My hair is both an aesthetic choice and spiritually meaningful to me. #loclife pic.twitter.com/4wUAh65KOA— Ruth Cameron 🏳️🌈🇯🇲💃🏾 (@pruthcameron) September 6, 2019
My locs are a tribute to my brother, Nick McCray, who was murdered in 2016. My brother believed in living life as his authentic self, no matter what environment he was in. And I'll be damned if I ever let anyone cut my locs as a "pathway to a better life." #loclife @ava pic.twitter.com/dKfS3oPNYl— Cedric F. Brown (@abrothanamedCed) September 6, 2019
14 months into my 2nd loc journey after 14 years the first go around...2 of the best decisions I ever made...never felt more like "me."...btw, senior scientist in large pharma...#loclife pic.twitter.com/MToeNRwiva— CoolBlackNerd (@tightgenes) September 6, 2019