Get Better Friends Daniel Caesar

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This week Daniel Caesar got himself in quite a bit of trouble. The Grammy award-winning singer went on a drunken tirade on Instagram Live in defense of the Rolling Loud Festival Host JustJulz. JustJulz is a White lady who works in the Hip-Hop scene but makes it her personal mission to berate Black Women. Anyway, in Daniel Caesar’s drunken rant he asked his black fans why they were being “so mean” to white people.

It was also filled with memorable quotes such as “White people have been mean to us in the past. What are you gonna do about that? Tell me what you’re gonna do about that. There’s no answer other than creating understanding and keeping it moving. That’s some biblical shit. You have to bridge the gap.” You can watch the rest of his Uncle Ruckus type babble in the link below.

As you can image, Daniel Caesar has been dragged by Black Twitter for the past week. Personally, I don’t want to get into how many different ways his IG rant was incorrect or how Daniel Caesar is another black male celebrity who was ready and willing to throw Black Women under the bus, in order to come to the defense of a problematic white woman. I’m sure that platforms such as the Grapevine will do an excellent job of addressing that. What gave me cause for concern was how Daniel Caesar’s friends were sitting silently and watching their friend take shots at his own career by alienating his core fanbase.

Like many people, I love my friends dearly. I thank God for the fact that I have a circle who not only want the best for me but will actively call me out on my nonsense. I constantly want to see my best friends win in life. Which is why I could never sit back and watch them shame themselves, especially in public. If Daniel Caesar had been one of my homies, I would have tried to take the phone out his hand when he said he turned on his IG live and then announced that he was drunk. The minute he asked “why are black people so mean to white people,” I would have karate chopped that phone out of his hand.

Now we can all learn a lesson from Daniel Caesar rant. There is this phrase (which I believe comes from a Nollywood film) which says “you are an enemy of progress.” It means that someone who hinders progress or positive situations. Enemies of progress are exactly what Daniel Caesar’s friends were. They say that birds of a feather flock together so this could mean that they were in complete agreement with every word he was saying. It could have been gospel truth to them. However, this was not the time for them to stay silent. If they valued their friend, they should have silenced him quickly. Unless they were ‘yes men’ and did not feel like they could correct without being excommunicated from his entourage.

Either way, these are not the kind people you should have in your life. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:24 that “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” This rant was a situation of ruin. If you cannot rely on your friend to knock some sense into you, especially when you are publicly shaming yourself, your family and your race then what kind of circle do you keep?

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I don’t know any of the people in that video were Daniel’s best friends, but he needs an Issa & Molly or Marcus Burnett and Detective Mike Lowrey type of friendship. I would encourage everyone, (including myself) to take stock of this situation and evaluate the company you keep. We have no time for Yes Men or Enemies of Progress.

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Are All Black People The Same?

If there is one thing that gives me a hearty chuckle in life, it’s people who barely know me thinking that they have me figured out. What does give me pause though, is when people get surprised by the things that I like to do, purely based on my race. It’s as though people think that The Fresh Prince of Belair, My Wife & Kids, and MTV Base are case studies on blackness and anything outside of those three things is abnormal. The funny thing is that these stereotypes on the things black people like are only upheld by the non melanated. Black people can uphold these stereotypes too. I’m going to give examples of three things I enjoy that would surprise some people, since some folks base interests on skin colour.

  1. Black People Listen To More Than Just Rap

Surprise, surprise Black people like more than just Hip-Hop and R&B. Fun fact, historically Rock & Roll was created by black people (Google Little Richard) and the majority of the Korean music industry is influenced by Hip-Hop and R&B which was created by us. I say this because these are two types of music that I enjoy. However, even if black people had absolutely nothing to with these two genres, it would not matter. A naïve tribe from the Amazon jungle could have created them and if it was good I’d still listen to it.

Let me remind folks that the human brain is a remarkable creation and it is possible for a person to like several genres of music at once. I am perfectly capable of enjoying Kendrick Lamar, Aerosmith, BTS and GOT7 all at the same time. If I hear a good beat, impressive lyrics and the artist is an excellent performer, I am going to show support. It should not have you taken aback by the fact that I am a Black girl from Essex who would happily stand on a table and sing every lyric to Livin On a Prayer.

  1. Black People Like Camping

I was watching an episode of Black-ish and Dre (the main character in the show) was talking about how Black people don’t go camping. I laughed hard. Not because I agreed. I laughed because the majority of Black People I know have camped several times and love it. I’m going to need the Pathfinders from across the globe to rise up against this lie.

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Allow me to explain, I’m a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Christian and we have an organization in the church called Pathfinders. It’s basically the Adventist version of Scouts and it is in almost every country where there is an Adventist church. It’s LIT! I enjoy being in the great outdoors, with my friends in tents. These are some of my best teenage memories. There are millions of Black Adventists across the world and we camp because it is fun, and we camp in the thousands in countries such as Denmark, Finland, and Holland. Make friends with an SDA, you’ll need us if Donald Trump or this Brexit situation ushers in the Apocalypse.

  1. Black People Can Swim

I do not know who started this myth that we cannot swim but when I find this individual, I’m throwing them in the deep end of a swimming pool. Just joking. Kind of.

I know as a people, we must take into account braids, weaves and shrinkage but believe it or not, we do like water. Usually, clean water that does not resemble the River Thames but I assure you that we can swim. I, for one, get a kick out seeing how far I can swim without coming up for air.

You should never limit Black people in the arena of sports. If African countries such as Nigeria are starting to show up at the Winter Olympics, please believe that we will take over swimming. We shall follow in the footsteps of Olympic gold medalist, Simone Manuel and debunk this lie.

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There is something about Black People that are universal. Such as Summertime by Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeff and Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison being the national anthems of summer. Most of us think that chicken is delicious and even if we didn’t like Black Panther (which you’d have to have been insane not to like), we will defend that film in front of mixed company until the day that we die. However, I just want to reiterate again, that we are not monoliths. Some of us can’t dance, some of us are nerdy and some of us don’t like Beyonce. All of these things are okay because our differences are what make us beautiful. Take the time to get to know us on a human level and you will see.

Please comment on the things that you like that have surprised people.

Beyonce’s Melanated Meghan, The Politics from Hell and Black Outrage Pays the Bills

Let’s discuss what happened in the world of pop culture this week.

The Brit Awards

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Due to work, I was forced to watch the Brit Awards this year. It wasn’t as horrendous as I thought it was going to be. Hugh Jackman proved that he is the definition of a triple thread, Jorja Smith won Best British Solo Artist and H.E.R. did a duet with Jess Glynne while she removed her make-up with a legion of women on stage. It was all very nice. However, the highlight of the show (for me) was when The Carters won The Brit for Best International Group. Now Beyonce and Jay-Z did not show up in person to the Brit Awards. Instead that they sent a clip of them accepting the award in front a portrait of Meghan Markle as the Mona Lisa.

I stood up at work and YELLED!

At this point, it is international knowledge of the abuse that Meghan Markle received from the British Media. George Clooney as even spoken out against it stating that she is being “pursued and vilified,”. Therefore, no one will convince me that Jay-Z & Beyoncé were not acutely aware of the statement they were making by a video of them standing in front of a portrait of Meghan Markle dressed and crowned as a Queen. Beyoncé over recent years has been opening showing support of Blackness from her performing Formation at the Superbowl with her dancers dressed like the women of Black Panther Party, donating 1.5 million dollars to BlackLivesMatter & $100,000 to four HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities). Also well as the APES*** video which celebrating all the black art that is in The Louvre

I know some of you truly wish that Beyoncé would go back to shucking & jiving to Single Ladies for your entertainment and stop reminding you that she is a Black Woman. However, our melanated Queen B is celebrating our melanated Duchess of Sussex. Get Over It.

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Does Black Outrage Pay the Bills Burberry?

 

So, Burberry decided that as part of their Autumn/Winter Fall line. they were going to include a nose hoody on the catwalk. Many took to be racist imagery and glamorizing suicide. I’d like to remind the readers that lynching was a real thing and the United States only made it illegal Federally in December 2018. A lot of people are starting to suspect that ever since the H&M incident, brands are using black outrage as a way of drumming up publicity for their companies. In response to public outcry, some of the brands have either reinforced their professed commitment to diversity or promised to increase it — suggesting, then, that a lack of corporate diversity is to blame. Well isn’t that obvious Sherlock

I personally believe that these brands are trolling us. I do not think that it is a coincidence that Prada, Gucci and now Burberry have had to apologise and take down clothing with insensitive imagery within less than 4 months of each other. A lack of diversity or not, as soon Prada made their blunder, the marketing departments of the rest of the fashion houses should have been on high alert. Unless they wanted it to happen.

It all goes back to the age-old saying “All publicity is good publicity.” We all know that something hasn’t been a hit on the internet unless Black Twitter has something to say about it. If Black people are outraged about something online, it will make the blogs, news outlets and day time television shows.  This is why, as of this moment, I will no longer be talking about brands want to use racism as a marketing tool. The hurt of my people should not be used to drum publicity for fashion houses that are older than my grandmother. Recruit some people of colour and do better.

 

More Members of Parliament Leave Labour

On a political note; Ian Austin MP quit the Labour Party just this morning. He is blaming leader Jeremy Corbyn for “creating a culture of extremism and intolerance” He is now the ninth Labour MP to resign this week and three MP left the Conservative Party. If MPs are dissatisfied with their party’s ethics and feel as though they can no longer follow the direction of their leader, that is their prerogative. However, we have the impending doom that is Brexit happening in less than four weeks. I wonder if now is really the time for them to decide that they want to jump ship and form new political parties?

Presently there is nothing United about the Kingdom and we are going to hell in a handbasket. Pray for us.

 

Please share your thoughts on Beyoncé giving props to Meghan Markle.

Do you think these high-end brands are turning into attention seekers or are they just negligent?

Do you think it’s fair for MPs to be forming new parties four weeks before Brexit?

Rep Your Flag: BTS At the Grammys

61st Annual Grammy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Feb 2019

A lot can be said about the Grammy this weekend. From the surprise appearance of my forever First Lady, Michelle Obama. Alicia Keys reminding us of her incomparable piano playing skills, the wins & snubs, as well as the lackluster of a tribute to Motown by Jennifer Lopez. However, all I care about is the fact that BTS graced the staged of the Grammys by being the first Korean Artists to be nominated and present a Grammy award.

Now I am not here to talk about whether BTS should have won the award that they were nominated for (they should have). Nor am I here to talk about whether they ought to have performed (they really should have). I am here to talk about the fact that the band arrived onto the Grammy Red carpet looking dapper in classic tuxedos. They were looking more delicious than a buffet at an African wedding. Why am I so concerned with their red-carpet look? Other than the fact that they looked like any one of them could have been the next James Bond, I love that they chose to wear Korean designers Kim Seo Ryong and JayBaek Couture.

Presently, BTS are the biggest boy band in the world. For millions of fans, they were the highlight of the night, even though they were on stage for no more than one minute. Having an artist wear your clothes is free promotion and more money for the designer. Which is why I am sure that many designers were ready and willing to dress all seven of these modelesque men. On the day of the Grammys, BTS had taken a picture with Kim Jones which had lead many to believe that the guys were going to be wearing Dior to the big event.

From everything I know about BTS, they are not disillusioned about their influence or the power their fans possess. Anyone else remembers the time that Jungkook let the fans know what fabric softener he uses and the next day it was sold out in the whole of South Korea? What better way for BTS to use their platform than to spotlight designers from their own country? Let’s be honest, how many South Korean designers can you name? I’ll be more generous, how many Asian designers can you name other than Jimmy Choo?

I love it when people from different ethnic groups go out of their way to give exposure to people from their country or race. It is important because the reality of life is that no one will have your back like your own. I personally believe that when one of us manages to break down the door, we should make an effort to allow others to come through. Just so you know, BTS are not the only ones who have been representing their country on the fashion front lines. Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) has been wearing Asian designers (such as Jason Wu) most of this award season.

Beyoncé also gave a spotlight on her Instagram to all the African designers that she wore while she was in South Africa for The Global Citizen Festival (such as Ivorian label Yhebe Design, Peulh Vagabond & Senegalese Sarah Diouf’s line Tongoro Studio)

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Most of us know how hard it is to get a seat at the table regardless of our field of expertise. Hell, most of us will probably never be able to get a seat unless we already know someone who already has a spot at the table. Why do you think networking events were created? The point that I am making is, we should never be satisfied being the sole representative for your race, gender, religion etc. The top can be lonely and it ain’t no fun if the homies can’t get none.

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Murder, Baby Bumps & BTS at the Grammy Awards

I’m trying something new here guys. You will let me know if you like it.

Let’s discuss what happened in the world of pop culture this week.

British Media Hates Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex

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All hell broke through the streets of England when there were mere rumors that Prince Harry was dating Meghan Markle. Why? Because Meghan is a divorced, older, biracial woman. It didn’t matter that Meghan Markle is so light skinned that most people would not be able to tell that there is an ounce of black blood flowing through her veins. However, the media storm that ascended upon the now Duchess of Sussex was so ferocious that Kensington Palace had to send out an official statement. They basically told the British media in not many words, “we see your racism, Prince Harry is disgusted, shut the hell up.” Which is what happened, but as soon as that wedding was over… they came back with the fire of a thousand suns.

Has Meghan been able to do anything right in the eyes of the media since? Apparently, Kate and Meghan have a feud. Now she’s been berated for holding her own baby bump, as if the woman isn’t 7 months pregnant. She is also being blamed for Prince Harry balding. As if everyone male in Prince Charles’s bloodline hasn’t suffered from hair recession once they hit the tender age of 30. In fact, Black British Twitter was begging Meghan to introduce Harry to coconut & caster oil to combat his unfortunate genetic disposition.

This is the complete opposite of how Kate Middleton was treated all of the times she was pregnant.Three guesses as to why. I just want you to know that we see your micro aggressions towards Meghan in these headlines. They are racist and unfair. Let that woman grow her baby in peace.

Is Liam Neeson a Racist?

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I don’t even know where to begin with this story. Liam Neeson decided to inform Al Gore’s internet that after someone close to him was allegedly raped by a black man. These were his words

“But my immediate reaction was… I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [uses air quotes with fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”

Let me get this straight. He didn’t go looking for the criminal who did this to his loved one. He wanted to harm ANY black man that so much as gave him a bit of lip in an act of revenge. Do you have any idea how dangerous this kind of thinking is? This is how we get deaths of unharmed black men and boys like Trayvon Martin. If all Black people exact revenge on white people who have wronged us, white people would be extinct. Furthermore, I don’t understand the logic of telling us this? Where is his PR team? This story was far from necessary.

Remember, Liam Neeson did not tell this story at Hollywood Race Panel sitting between Ava Duvernay & Oprah talking about dangers of racism and how he once had these thoughts. He told this story in mere promotion of a film. Ask yourself, if his friend had been raped by a white person, what was the likelihood of him wanting to assault any random white that he had met on the street? Unlikely. It is one thing to acknowledge that these thoughts were horrible but real growth is acknowledging that they were racially based. Making them racist.

I’m annoyed because I still haven’t watched Widows and I now I have watch him in the same film with Aunty Viola Davis. Thanks a lot Liam, how am I meant to watch Love Actually and Taken now?

BTS Will Be Presenting At the Grammys

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It was confirmed this morning that BTS will be presenting at the Grammys this coming Sunday. As some of you may know, they are the first Korean Artists to be nominated for a Grammy in the Academy’s history. Now I am not impressed by the category they have been nominated in (Best Recording Package). I think they should have been nominated for Best New Artist or Best Album. This is a group that had 2 number 1 albums on Billboards last year alone. However, it is no secret that the Grammys have a prejudice towards people of colour and boy groups.

Anyway, I acknowledge that they are breaking down barriers for other Korean Artists who are trying to achieve success in the Western Music Market. I understand that the magnitude of this nomination, and even being asked to present an award is a huge honour for the BTS. Plus Suga (one of the rappers in BTS) had expressed in 2018 his desire to go to the Grammys. It seemed like a dream to both the group and the fandom (ARMY), now look at where we are. The power of speaking things into existence.

Let me know if you think the British Media has it out for Meghan Markle?

Should Liam Neeson have kept that story to himself?

Will you be staying up to watch BTS at the Grammys?

Comment, Like, Subscribe ☺

Don’t Tell Us How to Feel About Our Hair Jay Park

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Gather round kids, I have a story. Allow me to set the scene. Jay Park, an Asian American artist based in the USA, posted on his Instagram a clip of a white rapper named Avatar Darko. Don’t bother researching him, this man could have easily been out rapped by Soulja Boy. Besides the attempts this man was making to rap, he was wearing dreadlocks. Let’s all breathe a sigh of exasperation. Personally, I do not like seeing Caucasians people wearing dreadlocks because they are rarely done well, and they usually don’t understand the history of dreadlocks.

This is not a situation that I would ever feel the need to comment on however, it appears that a lot of people jumped in Jay Park’s mentions about this “rapper” and Mr Park went on to tell his fans and everyone else on Twitter, “”Let’s not argue over dumbs***. There are REAL problems out there, much more serious than how you wear your hair… If you wanna focus on something, go focus on that. We’re just trying to put on for the city and our people while doing what we love… If you don’t like it, that’s cool. Much love to all the fans.”

Hold on Sir. Now you’ve forced me to make commentary.

Should the hair be an issue? No, in an ideal world, why would we care about hairstyles. The problem is that we do not live in an ideal world and there is centuries of history behind Black hair and the way the rest of world perceive it.

Despite our hair having a rich history and the ability to manipulate our hair to do amazing things, White Oppressors have dictated what we can do with our hair. It started with Slavery, carried on through the colonization of Africa and Jim Crow. You would have thought that it end but alas it has not. To this day, hair is still a source of contention for Black people (especially black women) and it does not matter what part of the world you live. People assume that if you wear dreadlocks, you are dirty, probably smoke weed and do not contribute anything to society. Do I need to remind people of the disrespectful comment that were made about Zendaya when she wore faux locs to the Oscars? Giuliana Rancic of Fashion Police made racists comments on a live broadcast, saying that Zendaya’s faux locs “make her look like she “smells like patchouli oil. Or, weed.”

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Our hair is described as political. Why do you think people assume that you are ready to start a revolution just because you have an Afro? This misconception is the reason why we never saw Michelle Obama wear her natural hair while (my forever) President Obama was in office, but now we see it more frequently now. The picture below is depiction of the Obamas by the New Yorker when President Obama was running for office in 2008. For the record, Michelle Obama never had her hair in an Afro during the 2008 campaign.

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Our hair has been described as unprofessional and unkept. This is the reason why black women will wear European style wigs, weaves or (if you’re feeling brave) braids to an interview but hardly wear their natural hair. You reserve the twist outs, afro and faux locs for when you secure the job. Why? Because we know that there is unfair judgement when it comes to the hair that naturally grows out of our heads or the styles we wear to protect our hair.

Back to our story on Jay Park. I actually find it comical that an artist who is trying to gain success in a genre of music that was created and still dominated by black people, would have gall to tweet such foolishness. This is exactly why the vast majority of us do not like seeing people of other races wearing our styles. Other races will wear our culture hair styles we created as fashion that can be picked up and dropped whenever they feel like it. However, when questioned on their decision or if they have done any research on our hairstyles, we are met with rudeness. Worse still, we are told that our hairstyles aren’t a big deal. To add insult to injury. they state dying your hair blonde hair or listening to K-Pop is also cultural appropriation. As if blonde hair is only mutually exclusive to Caucasians or listening to music on K-Pop on Youtube or Spotify is not for public consumption.

Black women have lost job offers because of wearing dreadlocks and had to take these matters to the Supreme Court (see the links below).

https://www.ebony.com/news/black-woman-supreme-court-dreadlocks/

Teenagers girls in South Africa have had to protested just to wear their natural hair to school without the threat of suspension.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/31/south-african-students-speak-out-ban-afro-hair-pretoria-school

We are constantly put in a position where we must defend our hair. Yet we have to watch the likes of Kim & Khloe Kardashian wear cornrows and call them “Boxer Braids.” Fashion Houses will wear dreadlocks for as an accessory when it is part of a religion for a whole community of people. Our styles are picked up and dropped whenever it is convenient because it is deemed fashion forward and edgy. Remember Marc Jacob’s at the 2016 New York Fashion Week. However, these people face none of the consequences we face when wearing these styles, and it’s aggravating.

I hope you are starting to see the source of our contention. I am not trying stand on a soap box behind Jay Park. The Lord knows as a Black K-Pop fan, you must pick your battles of colourism and race wisely, or risk throwing the whole genre away. Some of you reading this may not give a flying monkeys about Korean artists or dreadlocks, but the fact of the matter remains that black hair is a touchy subject. I want to make it clear that it is easy to exist in a predominately black space. We appreciate talent and respect for our art, craft and style, but the respect is mandatory. A lack of respect will have you dragged all over the internet by Black Twitter, and Black Twitter will make you atone for your sins.

I look forward to the day where I can go to a place of work and not worry about if I’m being judged on my “ethnic looking hair.” Or wear my Afro out and people not assume that that I have my “fist in the air.” However, until we reach that Utopian space, do your research, do better and don’t tell us how to feel about our hair.

Why Do You Want To Touch My Hair?

British people pride themselves on their love for personal space. If there is a bench that seats 3 people, you are likely to find two people sitting on the edge, and no one sitting in the middle. We do not like people in such close proximity to us. Unless you’re on the London Underground, then all bets are off. Therefore, you can understand my confusion and frustrated when people feel that it is acceptable to touch my hair.

It is the year of our Lord, 2019. Why is this a conversation we are still having? Why do people think it is okay to touch someone’s scalp without their approval? Even worse when you are a stranger. Yet I have seen people in this country get annoyed when strangers touch their dogs without their permission, so how have you rationalised touching me without mine?

Clearly this is an international problem because there are scenes on How To Get Away With Murder regarding this issue. Solange has even written a song with this statement as the title: DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR! Black women are fed up! Do we need to start screaming “assault” or “unwanted bodily contact” every time Sally from HR thinks our hair is fascinating?

In case some of you are fixing your fingers to tell me that I am exaggerating, I am going to share 4 incidents of the most memorable times that someone has touched my hair and made me uncomfortable.

1. At The Dead Sea

I had been swimming in the Dead Sea in Israel. It was awesome. I had covered myself in mud and done all the things that tourists do while there. Tell me why one of the women, who was in charge of cleaning the toilets, felt it was okay to start lifting up my braids and calling them beautiful? Let me make this clear, she had literally just come from cleaning a toilet when she touched my hair! Think of the germs and bacteria that had come from that public toilet! I wanted to die.

2. At Work

Work is probably one of the worst, yet most common place that this can happen. I remember when I worked in Sales, one of my male colleagues closed in on me while I in the corridor alone. He told me that he was going to touch my hair whether I liked it or not. That was disgusting and upsetting. Before you start to unpack this inappropriate behaviour, there was no HR department, he was fired for others reasons (sleeping with the director’s girlfriend, who was also an employee there) and the company closed down. I wish I was making this up.

3. Another fun work story. When a colleague of mine felt very pleased in telling me that he was married to a Zimbabwean lady and had forbidden her from braiding her hair. Why do you ask? He was worried for her edges. Without warning, he proceeded to lift up my braids, trying to see if my edges were in tact. After I told him it was so unacceptable to touch my hair without my consent, he told me that he had nothing but respect for Africans. 😒

3. At The Post Office

Can you imagine trying to send a parcel and an old lady interrupts your transaction. Then proceeds to tell you that you have hair like her granddaughter (who I can only assume is mixed raced), and then inserts her hand in your hair with no warning. Yes, this happened to me and I had no clue who that lady was.

As you can tell, I am over this insensitive behaviour. It is not a compliment to touch our hair without our say so even if you think the hair looks pretty. Yet if we call out this problematic, entitled behaviour, some of you want to act like we called for the execution of your pets. Is it too much to ask for you to simply admire our hair from a distance or do like Michael Jackson said and leave us alone?

Please comment and share any of your hair horror stories.