Surprised that dreadlocks are racially charged.

Terence P Ward
New Paltz, NY

I’m one year in to a five-year exploration of dreadlocks as a participant-observer, so I can learn about the experience and the perceptions; it’s called Dread Like Me and I maintain a blog about it at I expected people to treat me differently because they would think I looked dirty or was a drugged-out hippie, maybe, but I was NOT anticipating a racial component to this hairstyle!

There is a sentiment that white people with dreadlocks are guilty of cultural appropriation, and there’s also quite a bit of pushback by whites against this idea. Now that it’s on my radar I ask people about it specifically, and it doesn’t appear to be a majority view by any stretch, but it’s certainly not uncommon.


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