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Malia Obama's hair: Would she have been sent home from school in Tulsa?

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Good thing that Malia Obama’s father is President of the United States. Otherwise she may have been subject to the same fate as 7 year-old Tiana Parker in Tulsa, Okla. Tiana was sent home for wearing short dreadlocks against the school’s policy that states: “Hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros and other faddish styles are unacceptable.” This policy was instituted by a majority black administration according to news reports.

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Watching the Obama girls grow up in the White House should have been an education to many on natural hair for African Americans. But apparently even black people have developed a problem with their own so called nappy hair. Case in point, CBS’ The Talk co-host Sheryl Underwood recently made a comment regarding Heidi Klum’s practice of saving the cut hair of her biracial children. Underwood stated: “OK, I’m sorry, but why would you save Afro hair? You can’t weave Afro hair. You never see us at the hair place going ‘Look, here, what I need here is, I need those curly, nappy beads.’ That just seems nasty.” Update: Underwood later issued an apology.

And who can forget the critics of Gabrielle Douglas’ hair in spite of her Olympic winning performance in 2012? Do black people need a history lesson perhaps? Has there been a reversal since James Brown’s “I’m black and I’m proud”?

Afros, dreads, cornrows (one of Malia's styles)) as well as the seemingly more acceptable weaves and wigs should be a matter of personal taste. But, one cannot help but wonder if there is a black identity crisis in this country. It is all somewhat confusing and infinitely sad.

By the way, I am an African American woman in metro Atlanta wearing a natural hairstyle (twisted) at this writing. One more thing: Black is beautiful whatever the hairdo.



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