My white girl braids ignited confusion.

Alpine, WY.

“You’re not black.” “No, I’m not.” “Then why do you have black-girl hair?” “I just like braids, that’s all.” When I had my white-girl hair professionally braided by an African hairstylist from Togo, I never expected I would lead people to such confusion. Why did I do it? I just like braids. That’s all. My first grade African American students asked me if i was a “Sister” even though I have glaring white skin. A lady at the grocery check out asked if I was from Jamaica. Many people asked how long it took to braid my hair, to which I replied, “The same amount of time as it takes to braid an African-American’s hair.” This seemed a novel idea to most people. My boss told me that she liked my “Halloween costume.” Some people liked my hair. Some people became angry with my hair. And some people were just plain confused by my hair. I had no idea it would cause such social upset in my life. I just like braids, that’s all.


Tweets by Michele Norris