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Can I Touch It? The Fascination with natural, African American Hair [] [Note: That's our very own co-editor Tami right there!]

Tamara Winfrey Harris tells a story of being in a chain restaurant with her husband when their names were called for a table.

Just as the couple rose to go, a middle-aged white woman standing nearby reached out swiftly to touch Winfrey Harris’s hair which at the time was styled in natural twists.

“She missed by mere seconds, she was actually going to grab my hair as I walked past her,” recalled Winfrey Harris who runs the blog What Tami Said. “I turned around and she said, ‘Oh, your hair is neat.’ It just floored me because who does that, just reaches out and touches strangers?”

Re: “Can I touch it?” The Fascination with Natural, African-American Hair [Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian]

As one African-American male who locks his hair, these are some examples of questions or comments I have received from people who are white about my appearance.

“How long does it take to do it? I wish I had all that free time on my hands.”

“Hey, you wear your hair just like the black football players”

“Are you from Jamaica?”

“Bob Marley!! You know, I just think that Bob Marley was such a Revolutionary. I love his music.”

“It must be hard to get a job like that. Employers like that clean-cut look. ”

Lets face it, whether their hair is straightened or not, African-Americans and other people of color face challenges in carving out standards of beauty for themselves in society. For those who decide to wear their hair natural, additional challenges can show up in their everyday lives.

Announcement from the Moms Clean Air Force

The Moms Clean Air Force (MCAF) is holding a PRE-BlogHer online discussion about the power of moms on the Internet, our version of the BlogHer session,  “Malcolm Gladwell Is Missing the Point,” which will also be moderated by Cheryl Contee of  Jack & Jill Politics. Even if you’re not going to San Diego, do  join us! Malcolm Gladwell, the New Yorker writer, famously predicted that social  media would not have much impact on social change. We disagree, and we’ll tell you why.

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