Pretoria High School, South Africa, where black girls are banned from wearing their naturally, God given afro hair, and from wearing the traditional braiding styles which represent African culture and serve as handy protective styles. How can such ridiculousness be happening on African soil, in an African country and AFRICAN continent, where afro hair and various forms of braiding styles COME FROM Africa, and where melanin DOMINATES?
Because this is OPRESSIVE RACIM.
Who else would authorise such a rule but none other than white supremacists still active, 22 years after the end of Apartheid – or should I say 22 years later, in the continuation of Apartheid, because what has changed? Yes the extreme forms of psychical and public segregation has gone but ATTITUDES have not changed. The end of a racist era is not really the end if the mind set of the people has not changed.
Excuse me, but did the ancestors of these white people even know afro hair existed before they INVADED, ENSLAVED, DIVIDED, CONQURED, COLONISED, LOOTED etc, the African continent they perceive to be the definition of poor? How dare they think they have the almighty right to dictate how black girls should wear their hair. No afro and no braids, instead chemically straightened hair? This is a public act of repressing blackness because instructing black girls to chemically straighten their hair is to instruct them to emulate white beauty standards. In other words, this is an instruction to be ‘white’. This is a so called ‘prestigious school’ which used to accept white students only, during the Apartheid era. Now that’s one change you can point out but what kind of a change is it, when there are teachers who are behaving like their ancestors who created Apartheid?
Like Tatamkhulu Afrika’s poem, NOTHING’S CHANGED. White people in South Africa are the minority yet they control the country to their benefit and are allowing oppressive and racist regulations to exist in education. They are not even real Africans. African blood does not run through their veins. They are the descendants of the European Dutch who invaded – not ‘settled’ as white historians like to sugar coat it, they INVADED South Africa, where they used the method of divide and conquer Europeans at the time were inflicting at a devilish rate. Yet, society and mainstream media is quick to forget this. They will only go as far as mentioning Apartheid and how it ended this many years ago – as if to say look things had changed at one point.
But look at the attempts of the teachers to oppress the black girls. They dis-allowed them from speaking their native African languages, and called them monkeys. How can you tell and African child not to speak an African language in Africa? That is like me, a Ghanaian in England, telling white students not to speak in English to each other….. When black and Asian people come to the UK they have to learn English yet these white people only want English established as the language spoken at school. Because they invaded and colonised the continent they think they can impose their not-so-English English Language amongst African people.
Sorry but why are these white people even still in South Africa? What do they have to offer, because history and the present shows that all they do is take rather than offer. At least when Africans, Caribbeans and Asians come to the UK we contribute to the economy. We came when the UK called for us to fix up the country after WW2, and now the country wants us out. Yet you have white people in South Africa doing s*** all but being racists. And for those who like to say “but not all white people are racist” – I refer to the white people who form the system, and for the whites who aren’t part of it, what are they doing to stop it though? NOTHING. And for the record, there are white monkeys on this planet with pink bottoms, too so it baffles me when white people call black people monkeys. But again, this stereotypical view of our melanated brothers and sisters has been around for centuries and is currently being perceived in a South African school for black girls.
The fact that is happening illustrates why white people appropriating black hairstyles is problematic. As I expressed in my past post – Cultural Appropriation: why it makes Black people mad, when black people choose to wear their natural hair and braiding styles, we are discriminated for it, and made to feel as if there is something wrong with us for having hair which grows out of our heads differently. Yet when white people attempt to do braids it’s trending as a ‘new hairstyle’. It’s like we’re not allowed to express our blackness anywhere in the world but it’s ok for white people in the western world to appropriate it?
When there are 13 year old black girls fighting for freedom, and fighting to be African on their own African soil, you know there is still a problem.
Our hair is our true beauty, our spirit, our blackness.
Our hair is not a crime.
Note to readers: (please excuse the typos, anger fuelled my veins as I wrote this, so this is raw and from the heart)
– Eunice –