Defining Blackness (part 2 of 3): Corporate America and Natural Hair

“Long hair, don’t care!” – Lloyd ft. Lil Waye, You

Corporate America and natural hair.

What a historically beautiful duo. They go together like Trump and Obama. Vegans and Meat. Black Artists and the Grammys. As black people, we’ve been forced to assimilate to European standards of beauty that effectively cast our natural hair texture as “unprofessional, unkept and uncomfortable” to most of the world. This “nappy” hair of ours has been the subject of torment for centuries, robbing us of another form of expression every other ethnicity gets to freely enjoy.

Three years ago I saw a trend that would soon morph into somewhat of a phenomenon. Black men turned back the hands of time and became more colorful, boisterous and expressive with their hair not only in social settings but also at WORK! The Culture reemerged with old-school hairstyles as well as new looks: high top fades, braids/cornrows, curl fros, parts, faux hawks, man buns, locks with blonde tips and even all around blonde hair complimented with thick full beards. Black women began pledging their allegiance to Team Natural, leaving perms and relaxers for afros, braids, locks, and puffs.

My disbelief in the new hairstyles of my peers elevated because they worked amazing jobs! Smart and articulate black men and women working as minorities for companies that lacked diversity (what’s new) were proudly