Black women across the world are embracing their naturally kinky and coily hair. However, in recent years, some schools and businesses have enforced grooming standards that deem natural hair unprofessional—leaving many black women and men to wonder what recourse they have when faced with natural hair discrimination in professional and academic settings. In this episode, we answer that question by interviewing two law professors, Drs. Wendy Greene and Angela Onwuachi-Willig, whose recent research examines natural hair within the context of the law and workplace discrimination. We begin the interview by discussing what sparked their interest in the topic (8:00), the relationship between natural hair and race (10:30), and how the current natural hair movement is similar to and different from past movements to embrace black beauty (13:54). The episode also provides insight into lawful and unlawful natural hair discrimination (20:02), gender and intersectional race discrimination (26:00-32:50), the importance of education in changing mindsets and laws (36:10), and strategies for addressing discrimination (39:28).
17:00 - Is Natural Hair a Political Statement?
27:42 - Federal vs. Local Anti-Discrimination Laws
33:54 - Natural hair and respectability in the Black Community
42:27 - Specific Tips for Building a Good Discrimination Case
46:37 - Ty and Daphne Reflect on the Interview
Dr Angela Onwuachi-Willig’s website - https://www.law.berkeley.edu/our-faculty/faculty-profiles/angela-onwuachi-willig/
Dr. Wendy Greene’s website - https://www.samford.edu/cumberlandlaw/directory/Greene-D-Wendy