South Africans are responding on social media after protests over alleged racist hair policies at a prestigious high school. And other schools in the country are seeing similar demonstrations. It all started with the protest by a group of young black girls from Pretoria Girls’ High.
A video posted on Instagram went viral, showing 13-year-old Zulaikha Patel and fellow schoolmates in a tense standoff with private security guards. The students can be heard yelling, with their hands in the air: “take us all, they’re going to arrest us.”
Students say they spoke out after they were told by teachers that their hair is “exotic” and that their Afros needed to be tamed.
“The issue of my hair has been a thing that’s followed me my entire life, even in Primary I was told my hair is not natural, it’s exotic, my Afro was not wanted or anything like that and then the issue followed me to High School” Patel told CNN.
Pretoria Girls’ Code of Conduct does not specifically mention Afros, but it does lay out rules for general appearance, including prescribing that all styles “should be conservative, neat and in keeping with the school uniform.”
Pretoria Girls’ High, which was founded in 1902, was all white during apartheid, but since 1990, it has been integrated to all races. Many South Africans feel that the incident illustrates ongoing racial tension and expressed their complaints on social media of how shocking it was that such issues still exist 22 years into a democracy
Article Source: Thabile Vilakazi, CNN
Image Source: Google