HAIR We Go Again !
The Caribbean Is One Nation.
HAIR We Go Again !
The recent furor in Barbados regarding students’ hairstyles
at the prestigious public grammar school, Harrison College , clearly demonstrates
that those entrusted with carving the destiny of our Caribbean youth, are still
reluctant to accept their blackness. Obviously, if the hairstyles worn were
mainly of the traditional “pressed” variety, they would not have offended the consciousness
of the headmistress, Ms. Juanita Wade.
|Harrison College, Barbados|
Her concerns are apparently the twists and locks that are considered of the natural hair variety. They have been now accepted for the better part of twenty or more years, by those who see them as the natural evolution of black hairstyles. The twist is just the Afro naturally curled up and the locks, made famous by Bob Marley, can be described as a bolder representation of the corn rows that have been worn by black women for generations and a known connection to similar hairstyles and traditions out of Africa.
While we would never condone ill discipline or the flagrant flouting of authority by our students, we will not allow their creativity to be stymied by those whose mirror image of them remains located in their colonial mentality. And when we analyze this issue; we are forced to conclude that there are some in our midst, who will not be happy until our school children represent nothing more than mimics of the English grammar school tradition. We will not be surprised if there are those that believe the correct form of dress in our grammar schools should be the jacket and tie that are totally unsuited for our climate.
That a country approaching fifty years of independence, can still be embroiled in such issues is not a reflection of the students but a serious indictment of those entrusted to create a nation of citizens proud not only of their scholastic achievements but their natural physical beings.
Oh, how we yearn for national discourse about reforming the educational system rather than high school children going through a necessary stage of self discovery and expression!