South African Girls Protest Over Natural Hair Discrimination #stopracismatpretoriagirlshigh

Source: Lerato Sejake, News24

Sometimes I feel I talk too much about natural hair, which is funny because years ago when going natural I felt other people talked too much about it. But now that I'm older, I see the grave importance of the politics of natural hair in relation to having Black skin. 

Whether you accept it or not, there are politics and stereotypes attached to Black hair, let it be relaxed or natural. As you all know, in the past few years, the natural hair movement has not only been making waves in the U.S., but also internationally. Black men and women in countries like Brazil and Ivory Coast are trading in their Dark and Lovely kits for fruits and berries. I think it's wonderful, and I sincerely hope it's here to stay in the long run.

In Pretoria, South Africa, a group of Black girls who attend Pretoria High School for girls protested against their school's unjust treatment towards them for wearing their hair in natural styles. Many of the students have complained that their White teachers have been making racist statements against them while in the classroom. According to South African news News24, one girl stated: “I have a natural afro, but a teacher told me I need to comb my hair because it looks like a birds nest,”

Source: @Phil_Lewis via Twitter

Apparently there is a code of conduct that discriminates against natural hairstyles and teachers have been telling the young ladies to straighten their natural kinks and curls or make it "tidy". Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi visited the school this morning and was approached by girls with tears in their eyes speaking on their experiences. News24 also stated that another girl was told by her White teacher that she was not to speak her native language. Lesufi assured the pupils that their struggles would be over soon. 

This incident does not surprise me at all. Here in the U.S., many stories have come out showing how Black children have been discriminated against for wearing afros, locs, and other natural hair styles. This reminds me of my high school that had a rule in the student handbook that male students were to not wear braids or locs. Mind you, this is a school founded by a Black man, with a student body consisting of about 95% of Black youth. 

No matter how much it's dressed up to appear as a requirement of "professionalism", it's anti-Black and evident of global White supremacy. This has nothing to do with receiving an education, this is about control, deep seated, thousand year old jealousy, and hatred of anything indicative of showing Black pride. Global racism was built off the backs of Black inferiority and any sign of Black self-esteem will be crushed. The very existence and breath that gives life to this international plague is the destruction of Blackness. 

Let's not forget the fact that South Africa has a large presence of discrimination and racism due to the echoes and lingering of European colonialism. The irony that the Black majority must adhere to the suffering of the minority. Not only is natural hair discrimination pressed towards adults in the workplace, but now y'all coming after the babies? Be clear, even if this situation in South Africa is nipped in the bud, it will not end. If incidents like this don't continue to prove that Black communities globally need their own economies, own schools, and own jobs, I don't know what else will. Special thanks to the brave young girls at Pretoria High School for standing up and letting their voices be heard. 

Source: Black girls in tears at Pretoria school hair protest

            ‘We won't disappoint’ - Lesufi vows to act on Pretoria school’s 'racist' hair policy



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