“Black” Hairstyles on White Women Evoke Questions of Professionalism

white-women-black-hairstyles1Black women’s hair seems to be in the news every other day or so. How it is styled, how long it is, what its texture feels like, and so on comes up in the media so regularly that it seems like a major facet of public dialogue. Sometimes women have been fired after their traditionally “black” hairstyles caused issues for them. And, black hair continues to be a major factor in the “othering” of black women.

So, what does it mean when non-black women sport traditionally “black” hairstyles? More specifically, when professional looking middle-aged white women wear cornrows, flat twists, finger waves, and twist outs, does it have the same effect? Does it raise the same questions? [Read more…]

Do You Have Grit?

black woman gradWhat is “grit”? Well, it is similar to ambition, perseverance, or drive. But “grit” is a little different. Many people may be driven to succeed or have the ambition to win an important championship game. But “grit” is the ability to do those things even when the obstacles before you make said success seem virtually impossible. The Huffington Post recently published a piece on “grit” and its impact on young black men’s graduation rates. I can personally attest that “grit” is equally, if not more, important for young women of color. [Read more…]