The Negative Consequences Of Self-Discrimination In African Americans

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Self-progression begins with self-value; one entity without the other leads to a cyclic system of self-denial and deprecation. One will never have the ability to reach their maximum potential if they’re unable to see it as a possibility at all. Particularly in the United States, Black Americans, as an entire people, have struggled with obtaining and maintaining a racial identity equal to that of their ethno-American counterparts. This inevitably leads to an entire people who lack in holding a certain level of value for their own culture. The name itself to categorize this large group of people, African-American, has changed numerously and is virtually always associated with a negative connotation of poverty and violence. The systematic self-censure …show more content…
The straighter look of permed hair was regarded as more professional and would lend a Black American more opportunity in the work force while hiding their nappy hair. The process of perming hair involves various harsh chemicals such as ammonia and have the potential to leave the recipient with scabbing chemical burns. This permanent change in a persons’ hair texture wasn’t the only method to aid African Americans in looking more White. The use of hot combs, now virtually obsolete due to the emergence of flat and curling irons, was regarded as a safer alternative to perms due to this process only requiring heat and no chemicals. Despite this method appearing as safer, it did not last indefinitely like the perm did and required several applications over the course of several days to combat the hair reverting to its natural texture – which, at that time, was not an option. More recently, a new trend has emerged within the African-American styles – Weaves. Continuing the trend of hiding their natural hair, African–American women, specifically, have utilized hair extensions to mimic other textures. Weaves hide a majority of, or hide completely, the recipient’s hair, much like a wig, but is sewed in to the natural hair for often long periods of time. It is very rare that the weaves reflect the recipient’s natural hair …show more content…
How can an entire culture deem their own natural attributes as unprofessional? Self-deprecating statements such as “Aren’t you going to straighten your hair [for your job interview]?” (Things Women with Natural Hair Are Tired of Hearing, Buzzfeed) have left a deep schism in the body image of many African-Americans. However this dismissal of the beautiful curls that sit on the heads of millions of Black people began as a way to survive. When newly freed slaves were entering a new, professional workforce, the stigmas of their appearance still resonated within much of the White majority. This, as a result, forced Black Americans to alter their appearance to assimilate in a still readily racist society. Straight hair, for African-Americans, wasn’t a beauty standard, but a tool of survival. Men and women of the 18th to 20th century were forced to take whatever measures they possibly could to conform to what society deemed acceptable. Even in slavery, house-slaves wore wigs to match that of their masters while field slaves kept their hair covered (For African-American women, a hairstyle can be a tricky decision). Anything Black was

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