@michellejoni wore an afro to a costume party and decided she liked the
hair style so much that she would wear it regularly to events she deemed
appropriate, and blog about her experience. The perfect event for a
white female in Blackfro? A fried chicken extravaganza, of course.
According to @michellejoni, such an event is “obviously an occasion to
wear a fro.” The subsequent Twitter and blog response consisted of
people putting @michellejoni on notice that her actions constituted
anything from appropriation to racism. She remains consciously ignorant
of the caricature and mockery of natural Black hair especially when she
equates wearing an afro wig to wearing a pink wig. You know, the
standard “I like Black people and purple people” logic. As if our
natural hair is in any way similar to pink hair.
claims that wearing an afro is about a message of positivity and
oneness. Which leaves me wondering why she keeps ignoring the calls of
Black women to stop her offensive behavior.
traditions of caring for Black hair. It is akin to wearing Blackface and
then exercising the luxury of removing it at will. Yes, a white woman
by virtue of white privilege can walk around with an afro and think it’s
cute to experiment. Meanwhile, Black women around the world, are forced
to consider straightening our hair for job interviews because we know
how negatively our hair can be viewed. We know what it’s like to hear people
remark on how ‘professional’ we look only when we are not wearing our
hair out in its natural state.
the end of it all (or the end of the day yesterday), @michellejoni
announced to Twitter that she decided to take a 40-minute shower to
perhaps deal with the stress of the day. I was sure to remind her that
she should probably take off her afro first.