Foundations for Writing

SCSU Site for English 191

October 9, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

‘Taking ownership of what we look like’: Natural-hair movement takes root | MPR News

MPR has an interesting story (that you can listen to via a podcast or read) about the movement among parents of multiracial families learning to dress the natural hair of their adopted children. Some of you asked me what I meant by “natural hair.” According to MPR, ““Natural hair” means hair that hasn’t been chemically straightened or relaxed.” And “natural hair is becoming the fashion for African-American women.”

The article focuses on the need for learning techniques for managing natural hair since “Wearing natural hair for many black people has not always been the norm.”  This snippet of MPR’s article explains why:

Taylor said wearing your hair in its natural state has been a struggle, especially for black women. There’s a need to assimilate into mainstream culture and look the part.

“It’s Eurocentric. Let’s just be honest. It’s a very Eurocentric perspective,” she said. “It’s not just America, it’s any colonized country. We’ve had to subscribe to this colonizer’s beauty standard in order to get access to things, in order to get jobs, in order to be seen as acceptable.”

As people began to wear their hair natural, it became more accepted, but access to learning tools were still pretty limited to online.

“For the longest time we’ve had to change our hair texture to fit into mainstream society,” she added. “Now we’re reclaiming that power, but at the same time, it’s hard because you’ve never had any experience with it.”

To read the full article (or listen to the podcast), head here:

September 24, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Black girls say D.C. school dress codes unfairly target them. Now they’re speaking up.”

The Washington Post reports on black girls speaking up on dress codes.

For generations, girls have been sent to the principal’s office for violating dress codes: Shorts must reach past fingertips. Shirts can’t be too low-cut. No spaghetti straps. No cleavage.

But these rules are often enforced in uneven ways, and black girls are disproportionately targeted, students from the District said in a report last year from the National Women’s Law Center. Now, some of those students are beginning to speak up — organizing walkouts, lunchtime protests and meetings with administrators to call out dress codes they see as unfair.

In a new report released Wednesday, the National Women’s Law Center highlighted some of these recent shifts and rated D.C. public and charter high schools based on the strictness of their dress code policies. (

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