Black Hair : African American History Essay

981 Words Nov 21st, 2016 4 Pages
Black hair has been a vital feature of the African American history. Since the beginning of African civilization, elaborate hairstyles have been used as an expression of one’s culture and a mere indicator of a person’s identity, whether it is their family background, tribe, religion, social status or marital status. The Transatlantic Slave Trade was the beginning of the destruction and fracturing of these African customs and stripping these individuals of their culture. The bias against black hair has dated back to the years of slavery, where black hair was classified as sheep wool and not human hair. Some slaves were forced to cover their natural hair or wear wigs made from white people’s hair. Because of this dehumanization, during the 19th century when slavery was abolished, many black people felt pressured to assimilate into the mainstream white society and to alter their hair texture accordingly. This stems from the Eurocentric beauty ideals, which perpetrate that being black is unattractive. Years later, the stigma against natural curly hair and it being constantly policed is still prevalent, especially in schools and corporate America. Even though these institutions have the right to enforce conservative policies, these should not be based on biased views and target only one group of people. They should, however, consider individualism and diversity when creating their codes of conduct. In the United States, black hair has always been a political aspect of one’s…

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