SAN FRANCISCO — California on Wednesday became the first state to protect citizens from discrimination based on hair style, a law that is being greeted with both enthusiasm and a touch of dismay by people of color.
“I’m not going to say we shouldn’t have a law that allows us to wear our hair the way it naturally is, but it’s also sad that in 2019 we have to have one in the first place,” said Tiffany Dena Loftin, youth and college director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” she said, noting that the NAACP has been monitoring cases in which there has been discrimination based on a natural hair style. “But a piece of paper doesn’t change things overnight. There’s a stigma often associated with the natural hair of black and brown people that needs to change.”
In signing Senate Bill 188 just before the Fourth of July, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has created the nation’s first law that will make it more difficult for employers and schools to penalize individuals for wearing their hair in a non-European style, which could include cornrows, Afros or dreadlocks.
SB188, also known as The Crown Act: Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair, becomes law in the wake of a variety of incidents nationwide that has put a spotlight on the issue.
Although the military has retracted bans on natural hair in the recent years, last summer a 6-year-old boy in Florida was denied entry to his school because of his dreadlocks, and earlier this year New Jersey high school wrestler Andrew Johnson was forced to cut his dreadlocks ringside before being allowed to compete.
And an Alabama woman is asking the Supreme Court to weigh in on her long-running case resulting from her firing from a call center job in 2010 because she refused to cut her dreadlocks.
“When is enough going to be enough,” Clinton Stanley Sr., the father of the Florida 6-year-old, wrote USA TODAY in an email. “What all do we have to go through for people to know that we have a right to human rights? It’s crazy that in 2019 that children cannot get an education because of their hair.”
California law could set national precedent
Patricia Okonta, a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, has been working on Stanley’s case, but she says the offending school, A Book’s Christian Academy in Apopka, Florida, has yet to change its policies. Stanley’s son has since changed schools.
“Bills like the one in California send an important message that hair policing shouldn’t be tolerated, and can be a model for other states,” says Okonta. “There’s a long history here, one that associates our natural style with being unkempt or unclean or unprofessional, and that needs to be tackled. Allowing someone to grow their hair out of their head the way they want to should be fine.”
California State Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), the author of SB 188, said she recently was cleaning her house when she stumbled across photos of herself during her high school graduation in the early 1980s.
“I had my hair in natural braids, and it dawned on me that that’s the way I had my hair all throughout high school, without any issues,” says Mitchell. “Now, had I been made to feel badly about the way I had my hair, that could have easily impacted my school experience in a negative way.”
Mitchell, who continues to wear her hair in braids, said her bill, now law, is simply meant to prevent people of color from being “victims of a Eurocentric view of beauty and professionalism.”
A law that protects people showcasing natural hairstyles from discrimination comes at a time when a growing number of celebrities from the worlds of sports and entertainment are opting for such styles.
These include actress Lupita Nyong’o, who wears her hair in a short afro; NFL free agent Chris Ivory, whose dreadlocks are often a tempting way for opponents to tackle him; and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who wears her locks in twists.
Straightening poses health risks
“We shouldn’t have to sacrifice our hair, or our health, to conform to non-natural hair, because standards have been changing,” says Ama Karikari-Yawson, founder of MilesTales, a consultancy that works on diversity training in schools and business settings.
Karikari-Yawson, who prefers to call natural hair by the term afro-textured hair, says the issue of hair discrimination goes beyond style and to health concerns. Between the use of irons and chemical relaxers, “many people I know, and myself included, have suffered burns on the scalp and hair that fell out and wouldn’t grow back.”
For decades now, Rosario Schuler has been touting the beauty and advantages of non-straight hairstyles for other people of color. The founder of Oh! My Nappy Hair, with salons in Atlanta and Los Angeles and Oakland in California, says SB 188 represents a big victory on her long road.
“We have all heard the stories about brothers and sisters who have been stigmatized because of their hair,” she says. “Years ago, I said to myself, one day I’ll be able to take a shower and get dressed and get out of the house with my hair the way it is naturally. And that day seems to have come.”
(Source: USA Today)
DJ Neizer & Kojo Manuel Inspire Kumasi With Music At Road To Detty Rave Concert
The Road To Detty Rave show in Kumasi, was headlined by Sarkodie, Joey B, King Promise, Shaker , Kojo Cue, Fameye, Tulenkey and many more but one of the big highlights of the night was DJ Neizer’s spiritual yet inspirational session with Kojo Manuel.As an accomplished and working engineer plus DJ, Neizer has combined two very tough lives and is excelling at both, a point the MC for the Road To Detty Rave Concert, Kojo Manuel expressed and used to inspire the students on being whoever they want to be, because they can.
With the lights off and the thousands of students had their phone lights on, DJ Neizer proceeded to play prayerful songs including Kwesi Arthur’s Pray for Me which had everybody singing along with emotion before switching to an energetic back-to-back jams that had the thousands of fans jumping and screaming all night.The 2017 Campus DJ of the Year definitely has the Midas touch
AK Songstress Release Strictly Dancehall Album, “King Of The Queens”.
AK Songstress has the record as the first Ghanaian Female to drop a strictly Dancehall Album “King Of The Queens”.
AK Songstress has set another big record as the first female Ghanaian Singjay to release a strictly Dancehall album.
“King Of The Queens” she calls it is a 4 powerful album EP she’s released on this day, Saturday, October 12, 2019.
Buy & Stream Album here: https://backl.ink/77954513
Track 1 on the EP is “King Of The Queens” produced by Nature.
Track 2 is “Stamina” produced by Riddim Boss.
Track 3 is “Slow It Down” produced by B2.
Track 4 is “Change Your Style” produced by Tubahni Muzik.
This arguably makes AK Songstress the first ever to defend Dancehall in Ghana with a strictly rustic Ragga album.
Afrochella Renovates School For Orphans
As part of efforts to support Ghana in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the area of education, Afrochella, an afro music, and cultural festival, is renovating the Genesis Academy.The Genesis Academy is a school for the orphanage.It is located in Jamestown, a suburb of Ghana’s capital, Accra.Spokesperson of Afrochella, Gifty Boakye, told DGN Online in an interview that the renovation would lead to the provision of a “solid roof on the school’s building.”According to her, Afrochella has raised about GH¢ 28,000 for the renovation.
She hinted that additionally, Afrochella would provide about 150 backpacks, books, crayons, pens and papers to pupils of the Genesis Academy.In 2018, Afrochella supported WaterAid Ghana with an amount of GH¢ 10,000 as part of its charity initiatives.Ms. Boakye said this year, Afrochella is interested in supporting the Ghanaian Government’s agenda of providing quality education for all its citizens. She said to develop, it was key for Ghana to achieve the SDGs, noting that there was the need for all stakeholders to support the state in providing quality education.
Shatta Wale Host 14 Songs On The Wonder Boy Album With No Feature.
Charles Nii-Armah Mensah, Ghanaian Reggae & Dancehall recording and performing artiste, known within the entertainment industry as Shatta Wale, has released the list of songs or pieces of music in the order in which they appear on his yet to be released music album titled, 'the wonder boy'.
Shatta Wale is set to host the second edition of his annual Reign Concert slated for 19th October, 2019. This time around, there will be an album launch as well; After the Storm Album to the Reign Album, Dancehall act, announced that his upcoming album is very ready and has even gone ahead to mention the name of the album, “Wonder Boy Album”.
The 14 track-list for the album was released on the verified Instagram handle and featured no performing artiste, including the mainstream and budding (Up and Coming) musician. The album collate some released songs, including "Melissa", "Aye Halfcast" and a ten new songs from his catalogue. The new project include, "I Had A Dream", "Jata Bi", "Bad Man", "California", "By All Means".
Production credit for this wonderful studio album was given to, Da Maker, Bullhaus Entertainment, Paq, Fantasy entertainment, Boogie Down Nima Entertainment, Gold Up Music, SM 4Lyf, and MoG.
Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jr., (born October 17, 1984) is a Ghanaian-born producer and reggae-dancehall musician. He is known by his stage name Shatta Wale, formerly Bandana. His best known song is "Dancehall King", which led to winning the Artiste of the Year at the 2014 edition of the Ghana Music Awards. Wale is also an actor, having appeared in the films Never Say Never, The trial of Shatta Wale and Shattered Lives.
Having achieved street credibility in a fairly undeveloped Ghanaian dancehall genre at the time, he achieved popularity with his 2004 single, "Moko Hoo", which features Tinny. Then known in the industry as Bandana, the song earned him a Ghana Music Awards nomination. There afterwards, Bandana went missing in the music circus for nearly a decade until rebranding himself in 2013. He began releasing music under a new name, Shatta Wale, under his own record label (SM For Lyf Records).
In 2014, he peaked number 38 on E.tv's "Top 100 Most Influential Ghanaians" Awards chart. He has since appeared on the chart each year. He was ranked "Most Influential Musician" on social media in 2017. he won 8 awards at the 3music awards in 2019
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