Black Faces, White Spaces: Don't Touch My Hair

Black Faces, White Spaces is a new series that will focus on what it’s like for millennial women navigating their careers in Corporate America. There are certain experiences that seem to exclusively affect people of color differently- from hair politics and code switching to handling grief and office discussions regarding police brutality. S+E will work to cover these topics and more in this series.

For our first installment we partnered with Alicia of Cubicles & Curls, a blog dedicated to professional women who love their curls. Alicia led a great discussion of professional women who shared their hair stories. There were no limits, we discussed going natural, hair care, co-workers and our answer to the popular question, can people touch your hair. The conversation was full of fun and honesty.

With the recent federal court decision ruling that not hiring a person with dreadlocks is NOT discriminatory coming nearly simultaneously with Marc Jacobs cultural appropriation of models parading down the runway in faux locs for fashion week it becomes increasingly important that our voices are heard and shared. It is a sad fact that when you Google professional hairstyles or the word dreadlocks both result in images of white people- what a conundrum to say the least.

It is my hope that this series and other discussions like it will not only bring light to our experiences but encourage further discussion and resolution. During filming we laughed, shared hair tips and came to the conclusion that being natural is beautiful and overall, our careers don’t dictate our hair. 

BONUS: Solange Knowles released her album A Seat at the Table this weekend. Check out her video for the song "Don't Touch my Hair." It's amazing like the rest of the album and a perfect companion to our video discussion.  Don't forget to tell us your thoughts and hair stories while at work.