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[Pics] Loc’ed Professionals Take to Instagram After Federal Court Rules Loc Discrimination Legal

Avatar • Sep 23, 2016

Recently a federal appeals court ruled that job candidates can be denied or fired for wearing locs because the style is “messy”.

The ruling was not only shocking, but dangerous and a slippery slope. What’s next? Afros, two strand twists, plaits? What options will remain for black women who do not want to straighten their hair with heat or chemicals? Not everyone has the length to bun, and consistent bunning can stress the hairline. The stark reality is that super textured hair is simply not designed to be pulled back and slicked down on a daily basis.

The “neat hair” struggle is real for 4B/4C women. You panic over fuzz. You can’t do the black version of a ponytail (the afro puff) even though every-damn-body (every white/Latino/Asian girl that is) in the office is doing it. It’s madness!

And honestly the same reason the police will shoot a black person on sight for ‘looking bad’ is the same reason loc’ed styles are ruled “messy” and unprofessional — because blackness is often associated with all things terrible. The color of our skin, the way our hair looks, the way we talk, the names we pick are often viewed with automatic suspicion.

After the ruling, black women took to Instagram to put a face to exactly who this ruling discriminates against. Using the hashtag #professionallocs, loc’ed women shared their images and stories.

Counselor

Highway Patrol Officer

My department has a very strict uniform and grooming policy, so I make sure I get them done on a regular basis. I’ve been approached by several African American officers who have said they wish their Departments allowed them to grow Locs.”

Biomedical Scientist

I’m a PhD Candidate in the biomedical sciences. I rocked my fro for almost a decade before deciding to loc my hair up. I’ve been loc’d for almost 2 years now. They’re awesome. My locs give me superpowers.”

Attorney

My name is Jamie and I am an insurance defense attorney working in the sunny South Florida. I am the only person of color and locs at my firm in this position. However, I am blessed enough to be in an environment where individuality is not only tolerated but encouraged.”

Architect

I’m a STAFF Architect in South Florida rocking the Locs…when I’m not on the TRACK training…thankful that my hair journey has always been Embraced just as much as my endeavor as professional athlete…In case you didn’t hear a judge recently ruled banning dreadlocks in workplace is NOT discrimination.”

Insurance Agent

Prison Guard

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKlZy5kgM4G/

Medical Assistant

Bank Fund Administrator

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that employees do not have the right to wear dreadlocks. A.K.A., you can be fired if you refuse to cut your locs off when requested to do so. I am a Fund Administrator for The Bank of New York Mellon, a former Financial Reporting Analyst for the same company. My hair does not inhibit me from performing the job I was hired to do. I wear my locs proudly, and I will gladly resign from any company that deems them unfit for the work place.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKmBjhTjGI9/https://www.instagram.com/p/BKmBjhTjGI9/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKlkMjThJqJ

Computer Programmer

I work in the Health Information Technology field building electronic medical records systems for hospitals operating rooms. I am Epic OpTime and A+ certified. I wear locs and I look professional.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKnih2ThcXO

Flight Attendant

Chemist

Chemist with locs! I’ve been working for the City of Philadelphia since 2010 (loc’d since 2006)”

This ruling is absolutely bogus and should be overturned immediately.

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kalexa1
kalexa1
4 years ago

Reading this, it becomes clear. We don’t need cute pictures posted to Instagram and the like to tackle this.…We need to lobby, and/or engage lobbyists to make a significant change and get this ruling overturned! Who’s organising that?? If we just moan a bit and let such a ruling go unchecked, then surely that sends the most damaging message of all.

TheMinimalistFashionista
TheMinimalistFashionista
4 years ago

When I found out about this from yal post the other day, I was so shocked that I looked up why they would approve this mess and like you, thought what’s next? Afros? Our natural hair can be styled so many ways if we choose. I don’t see how our locs are considered “messy” when I know a lot of white’s wear dreadlocks and look “messy” and “unkempt”. In college, I knew several white kids that started their dreadlocks in our dorms and when they were asked about how they wash their hair with so much product, they simply said… Read more »

Sabrina black
Sabrina black
4 years ago

I don’t see nothing wrong with locs and profession. I think it’s cute. Their face is clean, they probably smell clean, and they dress clean. It’s a shame our hair is being criminalized. This is one of the reasons I don’t like the national anthem. It has nothing to do with being a sissy. It’s hypocritical.

Tracey Lin Miller
Tracey Lin Miller
4 years ago

I’m so very proud of my sistars for stepping up and out into the light with their beautiful natural hair. I’ve primarily worn an mini-fro most of my life (67yo) and it’s not going to change. Black hair and style is not accepted on the heads of black women, but let white women start rocking it and see how fast their attitudes change. They want us to have nothing, but claim everything that is ours. Only then is it acceptable. It’s extremely interesting that this decision has come down in the wake of so many blacks relinquishing hair care products… Read more »

LBell
LBell
4 years ago

I look at these photos and think: These are women who “did them” regardless of what their employers would think. Which is how it SHOULD BE…yet the recent ruling is the latest in a growing list of attempts to stop black people’s ascendancy to the status of equal citizen/human being. White supremacy depends on POC’s inferiority and since all major and minor institutions are still run by white people…well…you do the math… I must respectfully disagree with the suggestion that locs are somehow an answer to the “struggle” of 4b/4c hair not being “neat.” I’m speaking as a longtime 4b/4c… Read more »

KosmoKhaos
KosmoKhaos
4 years ago

The worst part about this ruling is that they deemed it legal because “Non-Black people can have locs too”. This completely disregards the reason that White people made these rules against hair in the first place. They made them to discriminate against BLACK people, not white people. They know that 99% of the people wearing locs while trying to get good paying professional jobs are going to be BLACK. Black people were wearing locs as a part their culture before White people were hollering “I’m a free-spirited Rasta hippie!”

Dalia Silentfiyah Truly Blesse
Dalia Silentfiyah Truly Blesse
4 years ago

why do they have any say in how we wear our hair.…that master slave sick mentality needs to cease to exist.

end the word
end the word
4 years ago

My hair in no way affects my ability to complete my job duties. This is sad and another step back.

TWA4now
TWA4now
3 years ago

I’m all for neat-looking, clean, and even pushed pack in a pony tail. Different businesses different work place “rules”…I get it. THIS IS AWFUL! It’s pitiful and a step back on how we can and cannot wear our natural hair.

Daisha Radelle Hoppin
Daisha Radelle Hoppin
3 years ago

This is only history repeating itself. In the 1800’s black women in New Orleans were not allowed (an Actual law passed that prohibited women of color of wearing their hair out in public. They had to cover it up.….doesn’t sound like we’ve more too fare forward. It’s a Sin and a Shame

Rochelle
Rochelle
3 years ago

Amen sista! I am with you 100%

Emmeaki
Emmeaki
3 years ago

That’s fucked up!

trackback

[…] black people (namely women) emerged as a survival tactic in a working world that still to this day discriminates against black hair types and styles. Indeed, this is the biggest fear I have entering the working world […]

Justice S
Justice S
4 years ago

I say boycott black money period.I bet our point gets across if we’re not buying hair products or weave or extensions.I have been saying that for a year now.Protesting don’t do shit.Boycotting does because it takes away the money they make off our black people.

kittura
kittura
4 years ago

One more check on the “discrimination” side of job hunting for black women. I find the timing to be interesting, when you consider how many black women have pursued and achieved more college degrees — now our HAIR is an obstacle to achievement?

http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2014/02/know-black-women-lead-groups-college-enrollment-watch/

I see it as deliberate push back. Now yet another excuse to deny black people and black women in this US society.

Another sad thing to see is this. Google or Bing Images PROFESSIONAL women’s hair styles… http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=PROFESSIONAL+WOMEN%27S+HAIRSTYLES&FORM=HDRSC2

And then Google or Bing Image UNprofessional women’s hair styles…http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=unPROFESSIONAL+WOMEN%27S+HAIRSTYLES&go=Search&qs=n&form=QBIR&pq=unprofessional+women%27s+hairstyles&sc=0–31&sp=-1&sk=

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