Rev. Al Sharpton, They Need You In Midtown

October 19, 2007

 The floodgates have opened since Don Imus uttered those three words–Nappy Headed Hos–and now he’s joined by Ashley Baker, former Glamour editor, in Club Stereotypes.

In a presentation before a group of female lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Baker spoke on the dos and don’ts of corporate fashion. A fitting topic with knowledgeable information from a beauty expert, right? Wrong. Baker slipped up with from the beginning of the very first slide:

I’m amazed that this young, white female thought herself an expertise on black hair and I’m not the only one.

She’s no racist, but her prejudice speaks for itself. It’s 2007 and the politics of Black hair is still a touchy subject. However, its unfortunate that Baker, like many others no matter their race, believe that the queen who’s rocking the ‘fro must be “down for the cause”–whatever that may mean.

Dodai Stewart, editor, sounds off as a woman of color on the hair-raising issue arguing that Baker’s remarks are an indication of her “never having been “other.” She’s probably never had to even think about the meaning behind dreadlocks or an Afro, so how could she have an informed opinion?”

Baker has since apologized, however, her empathy doesn’t sit well with self-proclaimed natural sista, Afrobella. She expresses on her blog that, “The whole story makes me tired. Tired that the offices of Glamour magazine seem to be like so many other backbiting BS corporate environments. Tired that hair like mine is still an issue to be debated by people who will never understand or identify with me. Tired of the same old outdated standards of beauty that are continually shoved down our collective throats.”

So, Rev. Sharpton, I understand that you are tied up with setting the record straight with nooses going up all over the nation, but we need you to set the record straight for black women who feel the need to defend their coif in corporate offices throughout NYC.

-Dana L. Oliver

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