As we enter homecoming/spirit day season, I want to make you all aware of something that I didn’t know was happening until a friend told me (we didn’t have this particular day when I was in school):
When “Crazy hair day” (or any other day that would behoove one to wear costumed hair) comes along for your child/teen/yourself (teachers), please take care not to wear hair styles that are cultural hairstyles for black people.
The reason is that you are, albeit inadvertently, telegraphing to black kids especially but also every other child that the ways in which we (black people) wear our hair aren’t normal. This is just a small thing, but these small things add up and it becomes death by ten thousand paper cuts.
Pictured are the styles not to imitate. There are lots of creative ways to make your kid’s hair work for the spirit day, even on a budget or with little time.
Also, ask your kid’s school not to call it “crazy” hair day either. This language is ableist and unduly stigmatizes people with mental illnesses. And when black hairstyles are worn and labeled as “crazy,” it also stigmatizes black people with mental illness.
[Images are of a black girl and black women wearing box braids, Bantu knots, an Afro, and cornrows]