Category Archives: Challenge 8 – Nappy in America

The Politics of Natural Hair

Dear Representative Berkley,
Dear Senator Ensign,
Dear Senator Reid,

It has come to my attention that the United States Air Force has a regulation, AFI36-2903 DRESS AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF AIR FORCE PERSONNEL, which in part, discriminates against African-American women serving in the Air Force. The code was recently updated to include a bans on a common natural African-American hairstyle, which the Air Force has called “dreadlocks”. Female personnel with neat, clean, professional well-kept hair are being forced to choose between cutting their hair and treating it with chemicals to conform to this regulation which I feel unfairly and unnecessarily discriminate against African-Americans. The regulation itself does not define “dreadlocks”. This leaves women with hair that is in no means a distraction or a detriment to their duties, subject to disciplinary action.

While it is certainly reasonable that the Air Force require its personnel to wear their hair in a neat and professional manner, blanket regulations against a loosely defined manner of wearing the hair is causing undue hardship on a number of women in the Air Force. There appears to be an ignorance of the needs of African-American hair and what can be done in the way of styling the hair without either cutting it off or subjecting the hair to chemicals. Wearing the hair in a “locked” style is the only way many African-American women can wear their hair, with any length, and without having to chemically treat it or wear a wig. As long as the styles are neat, professional looking, not distracting and not hindering their ability to perform their duty, there is no reason the Air Force should require women to change their hair styles. I think the code was fine before the addition of the ban on “dreadlocks” and the addition of that ban is unnecessary. The code already states that hairstyles cannot be “faddish” and must be professional. Locked hair is not necessarily faddish nor is it necessarily unprofessional.

This is one of the very reasons I separated from the US Air Force, the lack of allowing individuals to explore their individuality and their culture is un-American. I am a professional black woman, I hold an important position within my company and my hair is always, neat, tidy, and clean. I also hold the esteemed title of Miss Nappturality, of America’s Next Natural Model. As Miss Nappturality it is my duty to inform the misinformed and educate misguided individuals who are ignorant about the beauty of African-American hair.  I want you to know that I wear my hair in locks and my hair isn’t dreadful, faddish, or nasty. I am proud of me, and I would like to request that you look into this regulation and ask the Air Force to reconsider the ban of neat, clean and professional hairstyles worn by African-American women.

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Natural Hair and the Military

Natural Hair and the Military

Dear Representative Berkley,
Dear Senator Ensign,
Dear Senator Reid,

It has come to my attention that the United States Air Force has a regulation, AFI36-2903 DRESS AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF AIR FORCE PERSONNEL, which in part, discriminates against African-American women serving in the Air Force. The code was recently updated to include a bans on a common natural African-American hairstyle, which the Air Force has called “dreadlocks”. Female personnel with neat, clean, professional well-kept hair are being forced to choose between cutting their hair and treating it with chemicals to conform to this regulation which I feel unfairly and unnecessarily discriminate against African-Americans. The regulation itself does not define “dreadlocks”. This leaves women with hair that is in no means a distraction or a detriment to their duties, subject to disciplinary action.

While it is certainly reasonable that the Air Force require its personnel to wear their hair in a neat and professional manner, blanket regulations against a loosely defined manner of wearing the hair is causing undue hardship on a number of women in the Air Force. There appears to be an ignorance of the needs of African-American hair and what can be done in the way of styling the hair without either cutting it off or subjecting the hair to chemicals. Wearing the hair in a “locked” style is the only way many African-American women can wear their hair, with any length, and without having to chemically treat it or wear a wig. As long as the styles are neat, professional looking, not distracting and not hindering their ability to perform their duty, there is no reason the Air Force should require women to change their hair styles. I think the code was fine before the addition of the ban on “dreadlocks” and the addition of that ban is unnecessary. The code already states that hairstyles cannot be “faddish” and must be professional. Locked hair is not necessarily faddish nor is it necessarily unprofessional.

This is one of the very reasons I separated from the US Air Force, the lack of allowing individuals to explore their individuality and their culture is un-American. I am a professional black woman, I hold an important position within my company and my hair is always, neat, tidy, and clean. I also hold the esteemed title of Miss Nappturality, of America’s Next Natural Model. As Miss Nappturality it is my duty to inform the misinformed and educate misguided individuals who are ignorant about the beauty of African-American hair.  I want you to know that I wear my hair in locks and my hair isn’t dreadful, faddish, or nasty. I am proud of me, and I would like to request that you look into this regulation and ask the Air Force to reconsider the ban of neat, clean and professional hairstyles worn by African-American women.

Signed,

Miss Nappturality 09′

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Tangled in Hair Politics

Tangled in Hair Politics

Challenge 8 thumbnailIf I were to win Miss Nappturality 2009, my first task would be to contact the National Organization of Woman (NOW) and start a campaign for the Right to wear your Natural Hair without facing opposition or sex discrimination. This organization has been taking action for women’s equality since 1966. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society.Championing with NOW would be the ideal partnership in undoing the injustice Women of Color face in wearing their Natural Hair. (more…)

Nappy in America

Nappy in America

 

I am free.  Free to be.  Nappy, bald, wig or straight, allow me to do ME!

Dear America,

Fall on your knees and thank The Most High for allowing you to live in The Land of Opportunity!

Remember, that as you exercise freedom choose not to oppress your fellow neighbor- for they too live in America. Regardless of how they got here; whether settlers, slave, or legal immigrant we are called to “be all that we can be”. Let us respect others and/or who they choose to BEcome.  

Every man is held accountable to only one Judge.  Therefore stop the judgments if your criticism is not given out of love.  The better I do, the better you do and the better America will be. Even if all you have done is made bad decisions, everyday is an opportunity to start making good ones.  Each day is an opportunity that all of us posses.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 reads “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all”.  Seize YOUR opportunity rather than stealing someone else’s.  Life is stressful enough as we 1. Try to find ourselves and 2. decide what we want to do while working a job that we dislike in order to survive.  I write all of this to say that as I work in Corporate America, let me wear my hair the way I choose!  Spare me the stress that keeps me from pursuing my passion.  In doing so you too can pursue yours, leaving neither of us empty handed or bitter as we await our time and chance…

Making the Case for Natural Hair: The State of Black Hair v. FDA Approved Chemical Relaxers, et al.

Making the Case for Natural Hair: The State of Black Hair v. FDA Approved Chemical Relaxers, et al.

Miss NP Challenge 8: Make the Case for Natural HairDid you know that hair straighteners such as relaxers cause scalp burns, scarring, alopecia, other forms of hair loss and male-patterned baldness in more than 60% of African-American women who use them regularly?  This is a very serious matter, one which must be addressed in a way that cannot be pushed under the carpet and ignored.  I am taking my case to the US Supreme Court. (more…)