slavery, kidnapping conditions
okay here we go. so historically, dreadlocks are a hairstyle that directly comes from slavery. when my people were taken from our native lands and forced on the ships, they were crammed so tightly, they would often get drenched in each others bodily fluids. that, plus time, and general lack of access to hygiene, matted the hair of the enslaved people and created this "style"
when they unloaded the ships, the story goes that the slave owners mocked the state of the enslaved people's hair, and called their appearance "dreadful"
so this right here is one of the main points of why only black people have a right to wear our hair like this. it's directly a result of slavery.
other groups have matted their hair but it's not the same thing, and shouldn't be called the same thing. i'm having some trouble finding the images now, but years ago i did a deep dive and found photos of what indian and irish matted hair looks like. neither looks anything like black dreadlocks do, since they didn;t use products to manipulate their hair texture to mimic ours.
when black people first started wearing our hair in dreadlocks intentionally, it stood as a direct symbol of black pride and anti white supremacy. since we knew the white people thought it was horrible, we wore it to reclaim and have pride for the beauty of what our hair can do. it's interesting, now, that having dreadlocks still bothers white people to the point where we're barred from jobs, told to cut them in schools, and expected to upkeep them in eurocentric ways.
white people have asked me how to get their hair to do what mine does. they have asked me if i put wall caulk in them to "achieve the look." they have reached out and touched them without permission because they've "never seen them up close before." the whole obsession for white people with dreadlocks is so fucking weird. and when y'all do it, it looks like garbage!!!!! so whats the point?? there are so many good white people styles and you want to wear one that makes you look like an idiot
one more point i want to make is that it's really weird to have a non black person refer to my hair as "dreads" because of the direct root of where it comes from. especially white people. you're using the exact same wording as your ancestors that enslaved mine. try to just call them "locs." it feels a lot better to hear that from a white person/non black person and it makes you sound like you actually understand the history of the wording.
@senzubean I did not know this, but I was already the type that gives every white dreads a shitty look and sub-par customer service. Damn, I thought it had rastafarian origins.
Thank you for learning me a thing.
@Moss def has influence from there as well, since in general choosing to not cut our hair also gets the same result, but the slavery one is a big big root for sure
@senzubean We'll do our best to remember to call them "locs" from now on.
This thread was eye-opening, and yet it should not have been, because this feels like the kind of thing we should have known already.
@senzubean I call them locs when it's black hair, and I call them dreads when it's a white person's shitty attempt.
Considering this history, is this wording problematic? How else can I be casually derogatory to white dreads, if so?
@Moss this is actually kinda how i go about it too. i totally think it is derogatory to white dreads, but also i think it could be not so great by passively validating them as dreadlocks still to the white person in question. so sometimes I'll call them glibbs (which is one of the irish terms of matted hair that i can't find my source for but i could never forget that lmaoo). sometimes i call them "matts" too lol
@senzubean i didn't know all that about the history of the hairstyle, thank you so much for taking the time and effort to educate 🙏
@senzubean I had no idea that's how locs came to be! Very eye opening and sad. I'm happy to have learned about the history of locs and what they mean. Sad that I never knew and white people keep trying to be weird about them.
@senzubean alright bean, thank you for this, I appreciate your posts! Do you wanna drop your Venmo again for the education?
@senzubean Hm, interesting, in Spanish we call them "rastas", which must be an association to rastafarianism.
And these are some weird image search results:
The "hombre" version does have black men, for some reason?
Thank you for the education! I knew some of this but a lot of this information was new to me. Thank you again, what's your PayPal?!
@senzubean Thank you for all those informations. I did'nt know all those things about that hairstyle i truly love, especially when i start making mine years ago.
I did'nt want to hurt you or somebody else when i write "dread" to refer to your hair : In France, "dread" is the short version we use instead of "dreadlocks"
And with all those thing i learn on this thread, i wont use this word from now for my entire life
I'm deeply sorry if i write something that could hurt you 🙏
@Monty it’s not just about the word, but i hear you. it’s the same thing here for it being shorter. but it’s just not a hairstyle that’s for non black people due to slavery as the thread says
@senzubean I'm sorry about that. It's been a while that i was in school then i miss a lot when i read english, and i think you notice how i write not so good 🤔
@carl @senzubean It less than 48 hours that i learn that fact, and you juste can't imagine how this revelation is shaking my mind and my conviction. It was not a luck i never hear any word of that in the past 6 years i start wearing this, it's privilege.
I'm really sorry for the person i potentially offense. For now, i don't know what to do : What i got on my head is still really important for myself, it mean a lot of thing about my belief and my feeling 1/2
@carl @senzubean For long, i denied myself by having the haircut somebody else say it was "for me"
Shitty hairstyle that make me feel dead inself when i stand in front of the mirror. It's still important for now plz consider it
And just don't worry if i look like an idiot, an irrespect or a bad person : It's already the same thing with my feminist ideas, the way i fall in love with girls or with my 9 year old veganism.
Real peace and deep love on all of you 💋 2/2
@Monty @senzubean Regardless of your feelings, your hairstyle is deeply offensive racist. Same as with sexist, it is not up to you to decide if something is racist (you're white) or sexist (you're male). The white male privilege you have saves you from real consequences if you simply ignore that. The price is losing contact to a part of humanity.
@carl What did you expect of someone you threaten a deep racist, a losin' part of his humanity and tell his feelings are shit... For free ?
Just by knowin' him though his skin shade and his haircut ?
Does anyone you talk like this already change himself immediatly ? In few days ?
@Monty I am not threatening you. You are white therefore you don't have to be afraid of anything. Your privilege protects you.
Do not put your feelings above people's humanity.
Not in a few days (although it should be IMMEDIATELY!!! "Do you expect me to stop the habit of beating people, sometimes killing them, immediately?"), but I, we, do expect the start of a process.
@carl You don't care if there is another human to the other side of the screen. The world of yours is just an absolute binary palette without any shade where you're actin as the almighty deity.
The only thing that matter for you is to crush someone you decide he deserve it with your holy-untouchable-mindfucked ideology. Exactly like those you pretend fight...
Your anger don't give you the right to act like the last dick on Earth.
I won't continue this conversation anymore.
@Monty I understand this is hard for you. But this stands against the well-being of many, many, many Black people. So the conclusion is clear.
@senzubean huh. When I went into this thread I mostly just expected "our hair is structurally different, dreadlocks just don't work for you." You learn something every day, eh?
@senzubean White people with matted hair need to learn that the only people not making fun of their matted hair and rightly just assuming they're a racist fuckhead is other white people with matted hair.
Also boosting senzubean's payment info here too $bagofbean v@senzubeanie
@senzubean I was interested by the Irish bit and it seems like even that is tenuous. The Irish tradition of plaiting hair was probably the source, because poorly maintained plaits would have matted, but the source for "glibbes" (which doesn't even sound like a word the Irish would have coined, IMO) seems to be an Irish-hating English colonist accusing Irish people of using their hair to hide from the law, or something.
https://becausegoodheroesdeservekidneys.tumblr.com/post/72685531990/but-the-celts-wore-dreadlockstattoosbody (2nd commnt)
@senzubean So it seems that while we have a legit claim to body ink, our hairstyles were more viking plaits (probably comes from Viking heritage, too) than Locs.
I dunno though, I'm no historian and maybe Irish locs were a thing, too. We've been bored on this Island a long time, probably had a lot of fashions before all the invasions that never got documented well and remained in pockets.
But most of the "historians" since Rome thought we were animals and just made shit up.
Furthermore, most enslaved blacks were not provided any implements with which to comb/part their hair. To further enforce the idea that black people were animals, they were forced to use sheep card brushes which have sharp metal teeth and are typically used for prepping sheared sheep wool for spindling.
See Emma Dabiri's Don't Touch My Hair for more .
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