How did durag get criminalized ?
November 4, 2021
For centuries, black people wore the durag . Thus, they embraced their natural hair. They paraded their natural kinks or coils because it represented their freedom and their pride . It was like a black men’s or women superhero cape. People started wearing durag not only inside the comfort of their own home but also outside their house. Durag was now everywhere, from our history books to our television. Unfortunately, During the mass incarceration era, black youth were targeted a lot by the police, and what they were wearing became the description of a criminal. Many stereotypes were associated with the durag.
A negative connotation in some communities, now durags fitted a description. This piece of our culture was for them, and was worn by criminals, but it was not. It was just black people being black. Marginalized people who wore the durag were stigmatized. They were perceived as a thug or gangster. Durag was no longer seen as a tool to protect our beautiful natural hair, instead it was being used as a tool to criminalize our young Black men. Schools, and major sports leagues like the NFL and the NBA banned the durags. It was deemed inappropriate, dirty and unprofessional.The misunderstanding of what a durag is contributed a lot to durags bad reputation. Eventually, even black parents followed that false narrative, and forbade their children from wearing durag inside their home. Turning their back on centuries of traditions.
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