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Official Protest Thread...


Kitchen Wench #TeamQuaid
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Kitchen Wench #TeamQuaid
Staff member
Rocking braids or cornrows can be taboo for Black women. Stylists are fighting stigmas one style at a time

Black hair braider break stigmas

Black women hair stylists are challenge stigmas against braids, twists and cornrows. Getty Images

With the rise of the digital age, Black women have witnessed a new generation of impressionable Black girls who have used cornrow and braiding styles as affirmations of their cultural identity.

  • A majority of African American women (80%) reported feeling pressured to change their hair for work.
  • Natural hair still regulated. The US Olympic Committee denied the use of swim caps for Afro hair.
  • Stylists told Insider they challenge stereotypes to celebrate the African roots of hair braiding.

Despite the new wave, Black women still often face backlash for wearing their natural hairstyles in the office, school, and beyond.

A 2018 report by the American Bar Association found 80% of African American women said they felt pressured to make their hair look more acceptable to their non-Black peers to fit in at work.

Black hair has again become the topic of controversy, most recently in sports.

The US Olympic Committee faced a firestorm early this month when it announced earlier that swim caps designed for Afro-textured hair would be banned from use after the International Swimming Federation (FINA) - denying the British company SOUL cap application for participating athletes in the upcoming 2021 Tokyo competition.

Natural hair activists and supporters answered the rallying call of Black swimming organizations, calling out the committee - and sporting in general - for beauty and uniform standards that disadvantaged Black athletes.

Soon after, tennis star Naomi Osaka - an athlete unapologetic about her Blackness - would make a powerful statement on Black hair by appearing on the cover of Vogue Hong Kong.

On it Osaka dons giant, tennis racket earrings adding depth to a chisled profile glorified with long, ornate braids intricately woven into a crown.

growing number of Black women who once would have not considered wearing their hair any way other than straight are speaking out against stigmas that prohibit them from wearing their crowns in braids, cornrows and twists even as natural hair becomes more of the norm.

Despite the pushback Black women and girls still face, these same braiding styles once called "unprofessional," and even "ghetto" are now flaunted on non-Black personalities, with mainstream publications gentrifying their Africans roots like new residents Black communities - even rebranding them as "parallel plaits."

"A lot of times, we are told that imitation is a form of flattery, but that is not usually the case when non-Black people begin wearing cornrows, braids, and locs," culture journalist Ayana Byrd told Insider.

"Instead, often what is happening is a whitewashing of the origins of the style," the author of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America and Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Hair, Skin, Hips, Lips and Other Parts, added.

A 2016 study by the Perception Institute showed a majority of participants, regardless of race, showed an implicit bias towards natural hairstyles.

Kim Kardashian MTV Awards cornrows

Kim Kardashian arrives at the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. Steve Granitz/Getty

Byrd pinpointed how "at the same time that non-Black people are celebrated for wearing Black hairstyles, Black people are still being discriminated against."

Cornrows, Senegalese twists, Fulani braids – all these unique styles are connected to a specific ethnic group across numerous African countries. They tell different origin stories and serve as markers of status depending country of origin.

Most important for activists, they were a distinct sign of heritage proudly displayed by the women to protect their hair from the harsh heat.

"Each tribe may have a certain hair style/braid style to differentiate themselves from other tribes," Tamara Albertini, owner of Ancestral Strands, said.

With a salon in New York City and Washington DC, the stylist and braiding historian is known for creating eclectic designs based on the ancestral ties between Africans and Black Americans. She developed her holistic beauty regimen after learning how to braid as an adolescent.

"Braiding was just a hobby of mine up until I reached my early 20's," she told Insider. "It's not until my mid twenties when I realized that braiding was much more than a style."

Albertini explained that braiding is "a culture, spiritual connection, and had a story."

"Even the word "cornrow" shows how long it has been a part of our history. The name comes because the style looked like rows of corn on plantations in the American South," explains Byrd, noting they're called "cane-rows" elsewhere in the diaspora where, as part of the transatlantic slave trade, Africans cultivated sugarcane instead.

Ancestral Strands showcase Senegalese twists, a hairstyle popular throughout the African diaspora.

Ancestral strands showcase Senegalese twists, a hairstyle popular throughout the African diaspora. Courtesy of Ancestral Strands

"So Today, across the world, you will find braid shops or see little kids (and adults) with cornrows. It is something that connects us globally, whether we're in Brooklyn, Johannesburg, or Kingston."

Salons like Albertini's can be found in predominantly Black neighborhoods all around the country, servicing the everyday women who grew up wearing these styles just like the people around them.

For stylists, they're surviving aspects of a cultural tradition that couldn't be erased with colonization, and that lives on in cultures within the African Diaspora extending to Latin America and the Caribbean.

While the older generation experiences a series of microaggressions that would follow them into adulthood, social media has shaped a new narrative for Gen Z around braids and other styles.

A quick scroll uncovers countless social media accounts dedicated to young girls showcasing their unique designs.

"Now, thanks to Instagram and smartphones, if you follow certain accounts, you are exposed to non-stop images of beautiful, artistic braided styles," says Byrd. "And by seeing them all the time, they become a normal part of your ideas of what can be done with hair."

"A younger generation will grow up believing that braids belong in school, churches, corporate boardrooms, medical school, wherever they want to wear them - places that we used to be told you had to wear straight hair," she highlighted.

California became the first state in 2019, to sign the CROWN Act into law. Since then, ten more states have passed the legislation providing legal protections to Black women dealing with hair discrimination from employers and schools.

Despite the progress of the bill and a campaign to push it to a federal level, many critics argue that just one form of legislation isn't enough to confront the systemic bias that Black women face in different aspects of daily life.

Byrd called for "increased sensitivity training around Black hair in the workplace, more exposure to the history of Black hair, and the history of racist attitudes and legislation against Black hair."

For experts and activists, intricate styling is not just a fashion statement - it is a portrait into the culture and identity Black Americans possessed before being forced from their homelands throughout the African continent.

It is something that ties us to others within the African diaspora as a testimony to those who survived and kept their traditions going even after they were stripped of everything.

"For all the things that enslaved Africans were stripped of when they were forced onto slave ships, hair braiding was not one of them," Byrd said.



Kitchen Wench #TeamQuaid
Staff member



FKA Shaka38
Platinum Member

Merrick Garland's DOJ should be all over this case in particular. This would be an easy layup and that prosecutor needs to be disbarred. :curse:


FKA Shaka38
Platinum Member



Kitchen Wench #TeamQuaid
Staff member

“You Have to Taste This” Features the Award-Winning Chef on A Culinary Journey Highlighting Local Restaurants and Their Signature Dishes in Atlanta, Miami, and Washington D.C.

To celebrate the rich history behind Black-owned restaurants, Pepsi is partnering with Marcus Samuelsson for a new mini-episodic docuseries called “You Have to Taste This.” Highlighting the diverse diaspora of Black cuisine in America, from Caribbean to Southern and more, the series kicks off with four episodes starting in the South that will take viewers on a culinary journey by uncovering the stories behind the chefs and their unique travel-worthy dishes. The content continues the mission behind the Pepsi Dig In platform, to amplify and drive business to Black-owned restaurants.

“It is long past time to recognize Black excellence in the culinary world. I’m thrilled to partner with Pepsi Dig In to highlight the cultural history and diverse deliciousness of so many incredible Black-owned restaurants,” said celebrated chef and author Marcus Samuelsson.

In each one-to-two-minute episode, Marcus will visit a new restaurant across the US, including his own, Red Rooster Overtown in Miami, to sit down with the respective chefs and owners to discuss everything from their own background and business upstart story to the cultural elements that define their cooking, tying it all together with the dish that makes their establishment worth the trip. Across the series, Marcus spotlights:

  • Ben’s Chili Bowl , a historic spot in Washington D.C., founded by Virginia Ali, famous for half-smoked sausage, banana pudding, chili dogs and more.
  • Dukunoo , a lively Jamaican restaurant, owned by Shrusan Gray, Leonie McKoy, and Rodrick Leighton, in Miami’s Wynwood area known for its jerk chicken, music and cocktails.
  • Slutty Vegan , an Atlanta-based vegan hotspot, founded by Pinky Cole, known for their piled-high plant-based burgers.

“With this series for Pepsi Dig In, we wanted to bring Black-owned restaurants to the forefront by honing in on the unique stories behind the food they serve. Marcus’ expertise and experience made him the perfect host to bring these stories to light, and we’ve only just scratched the surface. We hope that viewers are inspired to visit these restaurants and discover their next favorite dish,” said Chauncey Hamlett, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of PepsiCo Beverages North America (South Division).

The Pepsi Dig In initiative aims to generate at least $100 million in sales for Black-owned restaurants over the next five years. The Dig In platform also serves as an invitation for Black restaurateurs to tap into a variety of resources available from PepsiCo including business services, training, and mentorship.

Episodes of “You Have to Taste This” will be live weekly starting August 18th across the Pepsi Dig In social platforms via @PepsiDigIn and featured on Marcus Samuelsson’s YouTube channel. For the teaser visit here.
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