Black Woman Asked to Leave Her Job Because of Her Natural Afro Hair–Does She Have A Case?

Rolanda Davis

Facebooker-Rolanda Davis was asked to leave her job two days ago–because of a natural Afro hair she wore and there are mixed reactions in response to this.
Rolanda whose Facebook’s profile indicates that she’s from Bahamas and works in Nassau, New Providence in Bahamas wrote a long piece to pour out her anger about having been asked to leave her job because of what she calls her “Afro-Carribean” heritage.
She posted the above photo of the said hair and wrote: “I was asked to leave my job today because of my hair. Let me repeat that one more time, I was asked to leave my job today because of my hair, specifically my natural 4c hair.”
She continued:
I am equally shocked, dismayed and appalled that my hair, God given, in its natural state, being a representation of my Afro-Caribbean heritage was seen as unprofessional or unsatisfactory for my line of work, that being sales and customer service. I thought that I looked well-kept and groomed but I lacked one of two things: a “wig” and or a “perm” and I quote them because they were the words that came into play as the discussion as to why I was not permitted to remain at work with my hair styled the way it was commenced and subsequently ended.
As I clocked out and left the premises I was in a state of disbelief firstly, secondly, I experienced anger. I was angry because by me not conforming to the white-washed, neocolonialism, Europeanized standard of what “professional” and “well-groomed” looked like, I was sent home and asked to return with a new hairstyle. My anger became sadness because as a young black woman in this country I know that this standard of what we should look like, need to look like has a vice grip on my country, my Bahamas. At every facet of society: socially, culturally, economically, the very basis of who we are as a nation is built upon these principles that this Europeanized version of yourself is the best version you can be. I am sad because many other Bahamians conform because they say to themselves “I need this job” or “It pays the bills” and simply we often have no other choice.
Please don’t become confused, I love my job, it affords me the opportunity to meet people from around the world, from diverse cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds, it just hurts my heart to hear the compliments I get on my natural hair from these strangers from other ethnic and racial backgrounds and in the same context my own people shun me. Skin lightening, bleaching creams and trying to become someone we are not is running rampant in this country, I wish that our system, and institutions did not feed into the notion that my black isn’t beautiful but to promote loving the skin you are in, seeing the beauty in the kink of your hair and the strength of the melanin in your skin.
From all of this take this one thing, love yourself, wholeheartedly, unconditionally without regard because you are extraordinary just the way you are, don’t let anyone tell you any different”
Her post has so far been shared over 2000 times and has received several comments with many agreeing that her hair is fine and should have led to being asked to leave.
Susan Bush Tillman wrote in support: “I am so sorry their racist hate filled ignorance is costing you employment. My sister I will help support you all I can in this struggle. We all can. Folks let us stand behind our encouragement with not just words but finances as long as she has to go without.”
Leonard Wilkins had this to say; “Great light, thank you, but unfortunately we are in a system of white supremacy, where they set the rules and standards of what is and isn’t, for blackness frightens them, blackness is Maa and Maat thought and behavior, and the white supremacy is the opposite of that, or anti God, for God created Maa and Maat thought and behavior in the all n all forever.”


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