Why is the Caribbean infrastructure so deadset against natural afro hair?

Vye Negre

New member
I know this case is specific to Barbados, but a little research will uncover that this is a Caribbean thing.

Absolutely no locks! -- NationNews Barbados -- Local, Regional and International News nationnews.com

COME MONDAY, Divisional Commanders of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) will have to report to their chief on which police officers are not conforming to the revamped dress code that came into effect on January 15.

Yesterday, Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith reiterated that there would be no revision of the policy in light of disagreement from some members, particularly regarding the restrictions on natural hair and the prohibiting of dreadlocks.
It is understood that there are about a dozen female officers now sporting dreadlocks, including an officer at the rank of assistant Superintendent.
A number of them were photographed by the WEEKEND Nation in attendance at the just concluded annual police conference with their locks neatly groomed in a bun style.

- See more at: Absolutely no locks! -- NationNews Barbados -- Local, Regional and International News nationnews.com
 

Oneshot

where de crix
I can only speak for Dominica, we have the dread act, which made wearing dread locks illegal, but that was because them man were getting on bad, robbing, and even killing people.
 

SKBai1991

Registered User
Caribbean people have an inferiority complex in general and don't value themselves, their culture or their heritage. Which is pathetic considering how culturally rich we are.
 

Seawall

Registered User
Right to wear braids
John Sealy,
Added 18 January 2015




FLASHBACK TO 1986: Ingrid Quarless (left), and Richard Cox, executive manager of Grand Bay (centre), discussing the hairstyle issue with a police officer. (FP)

Barbados Pride squad named for Leeward clash Read More Grand Draw Read More No funds for FIBA plan Read More EDITORIAL: Democracy more than elections Read More ALL AH WE IS ONE: Next steps Read More THE NETTE EFFECT: A matter of life and death Read More Second Harper Lee novel to be published in July Read More Robin Williams' wife, children fight over his estate Read More Messages of support for Bobbi Kristina Read More NATION newscast January 3, 2015 Read More Decline in chikungunya cases Read More Lifeguards rescue swimmer in difficulty Read More THE HOYOS FILE: Time for health care refund debate Read More CHTA’s mission: Make more money Read More Poorly trained spa workers ‘could harm tourist industry’ Read

And how people wear their hair is always a matter that is ripe for heated debate.
It was almost 30 years ago that 28-year-old Ingrid Quarless asserted her right to sport a braided hairstyle that conflicted with the preference of her then boss Alfred Taylor, general manager of the then Grand Bay Beach Resort at Aquatic Gap, St Michael.
What transpired at the hotel on that Saturday mid-morning of November 23, 1986, not only ignited islandwide response but also landed before the courts of Barbados in a wrongful dismissal case.
The English-born Quarless was the hotel’s social hostess from February 10, 1986, to November 21 the same year, when she claimed she was dismissed for having her hair in braids.
The case held the attention of many Barbadians, who felt that asking a black woman to get rid of her braids was an affront to all people of African origin.
Quarless was awarded $2 000 for winning the wrongful dismissal case.
“I feel justified. My dignity and pride have been restored. I now feel good about myself again, about Barbados and about everything,” she told WEEKEND NATION of May 26, 1989, after winning her case.
The impasse started when Quarless got two verbal notices from the activities director informing her that she would have to leave the property if she did not comply with an order to undo the braids. She said she was approached by the general manager in the lobby of the hotel and asked if she had got the message about her hair.
She said she replied, “Yes” but also indicated that she did not understand and wanted to know the reason why she must undo her braids.
Quarless told the SUNDAY SUN of November 23, 1986, that Taylor said he was the owner of the hotel and what he said went. And if she did not take out the braids she would have to leave the hotel.
The demure Quarless stood her ground, saying that she was a professional woman and felt some proper notification was in order.
Her concern was: “How can I be fired for having braids? Is there a rule in Barbados against having braids? I am a professional woman,” she pleaded.
She even drew on the popular movie Colour Purple as impetus for her stand, which was about the rights of the black woman.
Taylor would have none of that.
When a SUNDAY SUN team landed at the hotel to get the story, Taylor trumpeted: “Complaints were received from members of the staff – and also guests – on the hairstyle of Miss Quarless. I spoke to her department head, Kim Edghill, that she [Quarless] could not continue working here if her hair was in such a condition.”
Taylor also repeated the story to the Press that he had approached Quarless earlier and asked her if she got the message regarding her braids and the consequences of not removing them.
But what seemed to anger Taylor even more is that “she proceeded to walk into a room she is not entitled to go into because I had told her leave the hotel . . . . She downright refused to leave the premises when the two owners had told her”.
Taylor was not done with Quarless that Saturday morning. He summoned the law.
“Am I misbehaving myself? I am just here to have a drink with my friends,” responded Quarless in quiet tone to the officer while in company of Richard Cox, executive manager of Grand Bay, discussing the hairstyle.
The embattled Quarless was not standing alone.
Guests Virginia and Michael Byford expressed surprise at how Quarless was being dealt with and frowned on the way the situation was being handled.
“What management feels is their business, but we don’t find it [braids] offensive.”
The Jaycettes and the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados (BPWC) did not like what they heard either.
“It sounds very discriminatory against women and more so against black women,” said then president of the Jaycettes, Donna Campbell.
Dawn Morgan, president of BPWC, described the incident as “puzzling” and suggested that “there must be more in the mortar than the pestle”.
Quarless also had the support of Adonijah in his column The Hot Line.
“Someone needs to tell Alfred Taylor that this is 1986 and not 1786. The attitude that he displayed in his handling of the dismissal of the sister who worked at his establishment shows us all that ignorance is alive and flourishing in this island.”
But Taylor had stuck to his position, saying that he did not dismiss Quarless for wearing braids but told the Press “when I call to tell you the vendors troubling my people on the beach, you don’t come, but some little incident which has no ground you run up here because you want to make a big scene . . . . No, no, I can tell you that. You all don’t rice me. This is Alfred Taylor. I can say what the hell I want . . .”.
Magistrate Valton Bend, who presided over the matter in the District “A” Court, thought differently.
While advising the management of the hotel to adjust to changing times and trends, he ruled that Quarless should have the personal freedom to wear her hair in the style she wanted.
johnsealy@nationnews.com
- See more at: Right to wear braids -- NationNews Barbados -- Local, Regional and International News nationnews.com
 

LIONESS onda RISE

Registered User
I can only speak for Dominica, we have the dread act, which made wearing dread locks illegal, but that was because them man were getting on bad, robbing, and even killing people.
well..that still seems strange tho! outlawing a hair choice because some people committing crimes happen to have dreads? so all the people with caesar cuts that commit crime, or braids, or ponytails...they gonna outlaw that?

kinda crazy
When was this dread act put in to place ?
yes..curious
 

biggadon

New member
Am really curious ...my experience with Dominca is that nuff rastaman live deh... they are the Original RENT A DREADS !
 

Oneshot

where de crix
well..that still seems strange tho! outlawing a hair choice because some people committing crimes happen to have dreads? so all the people with caesar cuts that commit crime, or braids, or ponytails...they gonna outlaw that?

kinda crazy


yes..curious
it was in the 70's . it is an interesting part of Dominica's history, we were moving towards independance, and there was a spree of crimes being committed by young men, who identified as being part of the rasta / dread community. The act itself wasnt called the dread act, but Unlawful Societies and Associations Act which was replaced by the Terrorist Act. The law was draconian, it was meant to give the police the legal right to pull up any young man wearing dreads and lock him up, and beat him if they want. It was not about being pro european, it was mostly reactionary, and ended up setting up for a civil revolution in 79.

Now, as it stands in practice people do not get arrested for wearing dreads, or being rasta and so forth. And children can go to school wearing their locks, and public servants I believe with the exceptions of police / prision wardens can wear locks. But the hair style restriction with the police I believe has to do more with a professional code. For example you dont see police officers with braids, or permed hair (men). The women can braid, or perm their hair as they see fit.

Why the law hasnt been dropped, I suspect because people will see it as a pandering to that sect of society, and they will see it as victory to gain more freedoms, like burning cannabis. So rather than tackle a bigger issue, successive governments just look the other way.
 

LIONESS onda RISE

Registered User
^^ Thank you!!! interesting piece of Dominica's history.

none of us (countries/societies) are very far removed from the "black hair" thing. Just 20 years ago in the early 90's I was told not to loc my hair because I woulnt get a "good job"...

to this day i'm the only person who looks like me (wherever my business takes)..and to be truthful, the odd looks and funky comments don't come from white folks...nope!! never! once!
 

jamaicangirl

Boonoonoonoos
it was in the 70's . it is an interesting part of Dominica's history, we were moving towards independance, and there was a spree of crimes being committed by young men, who identified as being part of the rasta / dread community. The act itself wasnt called the dread act, but Unlawful Societies and Associations Act which was replaced by the Terrorist Act. The law was draconian, it was meant to give the police the legal right to pull up any young man wearing dreads and lock him up, and beat him if they want. It was not about being pro european, it was mostly reactionary, and ended up setting up for a civil revolution in 79.

Now, as it stands in practice people do not get arrested for wearing dreads, or being rasta and so forth. And children can go to school wearing their locks, and public servants I believe with the exceptions of police / prision wardens can wear locks. But the hair style restriction with the police I believe has to do more with a professional code. For example you dont see police officers with braids, or permed hair (men). The women can braid, or perm their hair as they see fit.

Why the law hasnt been dropped, I suspect because people will see it as a pandering to that sect of society, and they will see it as victory to gain more freedoms, like burning cannabis. So rather than tackle a bigger issue, successive governments just look the other way.
We don't need white people to be racist towards us.....
 

Vye Negre

New member
Dominica's History Revisited

Twenty-eight years ago in December, the Dominica Parliament under the leadership of then Premier Patrick R. John passed an amendment to the Prohibited and Unlawful Societies and Associations Act 1974(The Dread Act).

The original Act was passed by near unanimous approval by Parliament earlier in the year. And so began one of the worst chapters in Dominicas history with the severe repression of human rights on the Island. Under the Dread Act, individuals wearing dread locks and who appeared in public were guilty of an offense and subject to an arrest without warrant.

Young men found guilty of benign offenses such as taking one coconut from land that they did not own could face mandatory jail time without the right to appeal, if found guilty. The Act protected any civilian who killed or injured a member of the Dreads who was found illegally inside a dwelling house, from civil or criminal liability.

In addition, the security forces received immunity from the killing of members of the movement. Passage of the Act therefore resulted in the killing of untold numbers of young men by the security forces. The Act has been regarded as the most shameful and repressive bit of legislation ever passed in Dominicas Parliament.

To date, no one has ever been prosecuted, held to account, or made to pay for the carrying out of these atrocious deeds. As far as The Dominican could determine the repressive Dread Act, although no longer enforced still remains on the law books in Dominica, albeit to our eternal shame.

At the time of the passage of the Act, the term Dread was used to refer to predominantly young men who practiced the Rastafarian religion, and grew their hair long and matted.

Other words that were commonly used during that time as outlined by Premier John to Parliament in what he referred to as Dread langageu A small motion (to walk away); a piece (illegal firearm); Babylon (society); endless concrete (city buildings); endless man (large crowds); itals (vegetables and food not containing meat or salt); leggobeast (woman not accepting of Dread ideology).

Editors Note:
Much more detailed information on this era in Dominica's history including the rational advanced by the government for imposing the Act, the mood of the country at the time and the tumultuous events of Dominica in the seventies is detailed in Back to Eden available through The
 

Vye Negre

New member
Some say this was caused by Rastas becomming too influential with their grow what you eat philosophy threatening the economy.

others say it was the 'bounjoir'/business owners/high socity types in Dominica who were threatened by young men congregating in town and wanted them removed who used their powers to influence this conspiracy against rastas.

From what I understand it comes down to a small number of young men who were actually terorising Dominica at the time and the government of the day used the media to blow their actions out of proportion which provided the opportunity for them to introduce these draconian laws and indiscriminately try to eliminate rastas in the 70s.

Its actually a very interesting chapter in our history, one I plan to reserach in the future.
 

Oneshot

where de crix
We don't need white people to be racist towards us.....
this has nothing to do with race. you wil not see a police officer bleaching, or perming his hair. and you will see women police with their braids, and plaited hair, and even some with a "boy cut". it is social norms. for that profession it is not considered fitting with the social norms of society. just like we dont expect our teachers and lecturers to wear jeans to class.
 

Oneshot

where de crix
Some say this was caused by Rastas becomming too influential with their grow what you eat philosophy threatening the economy.

others say it was the 'bounjoir'/business owners/high socity types in Dominica who were threatened by young men congregating in town and wanted them removed who used their powers to influence this conspiracy against rastas.

From what I understand it comes down to a small number of young men who were actually terorising Dominica at the time and the government of the day used the media to blow their actions out of proportion which provided the opportunity for them to introduce these draconian laws and indiscriminately try to eliminate rastas in the 70s.

Its actually a very interesting chapter in our history, one I plan to reserach in the future.
the thing is, what happened was no different from any other power hungry leader. you find a minority of society, and enforce laws against them, then you expand to the rest of society. and that is what our former PM did.

the dreads (not rastas) of society were out of control. and some of them were being manipulated by other political forces (the entire "black power" movement). and that criminal aspect needed to be dealt with. our PM saw an opportunity and exploited it.

Dominica could have been like Grenada after Maurice Bishop.
 

Vye Negre

New member
the thing is, what happened was no different from any other power hungry leader. you find a minority of society, and enforce laws against them, then you expand to the rest of society. and that is what our former PM did.

the dreads (not rastas) of society were out of control. and some of them were being manipulated by other political forces (the entire "black power" movement). and that criminal aspect needed to be dealt with. our PM saw an opportunity and exploited it.

Dominica could have been like Grenada after Maurice Bishop.
Two issues here... the black power movements, which tied into the whole eat what you grow thing

And the few Dreads, who were terrorising the island.

The dreads were not part of the black power ting, but the government used the media to link the two and start an all out war on anyone with long hair. From what I am told, most Rastas at the time were peaceful living up in the mountains types of people, but were all targeted as terrorists.
 

Oneshot

where de crix
Two issues here... the black power movements, which tied into the whole eat what you grow thing

And the few Dreads, who were terrorising the island.

The dreads were not part of the black power ting, but the government used the media to link the two and start an all out war on anyone with long hair. From what I am told, most Rastas at the time were peaceful living up in the mountains types of people, but were all targeted as terrorists.
yeah, i was surprised he want to return to politcs after what he did eh.
 
Top