Monday, August 27

Hampton University Bans Cornrows and Dreads

It's not the first time we've seen an institution of some type try to place boundaries on what people can and cannot do with their hair.
Remember the post I did a few weeks ago about the flight attendant who was forced to hide his dread under a terrible wig in order to keep his job because his natural hairstyle was harming the company's image?  

Well, this time its Hampton University.  They have created a rule for its male business students:  No dreads or cornrows.
The mandate was put in place in 2001 and only applies to a specific group of students enrolled in a leadership course within Hampton's five-year M.B.A. program.  The Dean of the Business School believes that the hairstyles will prevent students from securing corporate jobs.

Maybe he's right?? Maybe in corporate America the 'old boys network' frowns upon those hairstyles...SO WHAT!  What ever happened to freedom of choice?  
I wonder if people think that this natural hair movement is some kind of political stance as it was also viewed in the 70s?  Are people afraid of our afros, dreads and cornrows and somehow disguise it as something that 'for your own good?'
I see what the Hamptons University is trying to do: make their students employable once they leave the walls of academia, BUT banning a hairstyle is not the way to achieve that! 

The question I have is this:  Was this ban justifiable? Are cornrows and dreadlocks truly unprofessional?  How much does (or should) your hair be a factor when applying for a job? 
I would love to hear from the professional men with dread out there!
Share your thoughts and comments with me.  Join the discussion!


ithelpcrewdotcom said...

I am not my hair but my hair says a lot about me and my hair is a big part of who I am...because God made it so. I would never change my hair for anything...I've been shaving my head bald since 1990 (some where around there) and will probably continue to do so because I feel one it suits me, two it's my personal political statement against the system and three I'm now going naturally Dreads are in our culture they are who we are...white or black our hair wants to dread.

I believe people should wear their hair as they wish, are these baby steps that lead to major changes...irreversible changes. What next will we be mandated to bleach our skin to secure corporate job? Should I now speak with less bass in my voice shall womyn have to reduce...or increase the size of their breast all in and effort to appease our corporate masters. I don't have dreads but I don't think I need to have dreads to say that if I did have dreads I would not cut them for anyone or anything...but then I am a stubborn Scorpio. My hair is not getting my MBA, my hair has nothing to do with how well I can do my job, the only person my hair(dreads) affect are these white men who do not understand or care about other peoples, these men who seek to keep peoples of culture out of their world by creating and enforcing childish policies and remaining in the dark ages of bigotry and hate.

I love seeing dreads it instills pride in me because it seems so natural and pure.

I think a lot of the negativity stems from a lack of understanding, some people watch TV and TV portray negative stereotypes of our hair all the time. You know, all dreads smoke marijuana and speak a certain way...smh...TV is so harmful.

We as a people need to stop running to the corporate world for a don't need a job you need money, create our own industry and hire accordingly if we had more black business owners debates like this would be a non issue, I'd hirer you black, white or the other whether you had hair or not just as long as you can do the effing job THAT'S WHAT MATTERS. These corporate types don't see that racism and capitalism don't mix...a real capitalist knows its about the dollar dreads or not...can you do the job and make me money.

Eboni Morgan said...

reading things like these really infuriate me. I don't see how banning a hairstyle can possibly change the way someone takes their professional life. As a hardworking student, I've never failed to try my best and do extremely well in classes- and I've most definitely worn my hair in cornrows! Dreads can be taken along different lines, because it isn't just a style to some people, it runs as a "way of life" towards Rastafarians. Some may even go as far as to say that dreadlocks is the Rastafarians hijab. How could such a thing be unprofessional? I still stay 100% professional, my hair has nothing to do with it. As long as my hair looks like I've taken time to make it look good, it goes down as professional in my books. The ban against a simple hairstyle is truly absurd.