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A 7-Year-Old’s Dreadlocks Inspire Project Affirming Natural Black Beauty

By Alex McKechnie
Drexel News Blog

September 17, 2013


Yaba Blay

Yaba Blay

Seven-year-old Tiana Parker was sent home from school on her first day…because of her hair. The elementary  school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, deemed the dreadlocks she wore under her big, pink bow to be “faddish,” and, thus, “unacceptable.”

When Dr. Yaba Blay, an assistant teaching professor and co-director of Drexel University’s Africana Studies program, heard the story, she was outraged. One of today’s leading voices on colorism and global skin color and hair politics, Blay has committed her life to reaffirming the natural beauty of black women. (Her new book on the intricacies and nuances of racial identity, (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, is scheduled for release on Nov. 29.)

Moved to action by the sight of Tiana’s tears on a local TV station, Blay invited black women from across the country and around the world to share words of encouragement for Tiana and send pictures of themselves wearing their hair in dreadlocks, or “locs.”

Read more at the Drexel News Blog »