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This was REALLY well done.

John Oliver Black Hair and Racism

Source: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic/Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for ESSENCE/Fred / Getty

John Oliver is as empathetic and aware of a TV show host that there is in this modern time. He consistently uses his platform to strike down racists, bigots, hypocrites, and all manners of bogus biases that exist in society. He typically does a great job of not only disseminating information but making it funny and at times scathing in his critique of social ills. On this weekend’s episode of his hit HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the comedian enlists some of the funniest Black folks in the entertainment business to discuss a very serious topic in a very funny way.

Black hair and the racism that comes along with it.

Leslie Jones, Uzo Aduba, and Craig Robinson all weigh in on their experiences and offer some advice to those Hollyweird and beyond about how to and how not to engage Black people about their hairstyles. If, for some reason, you’ve never watched John’s show this segment should give you all the motivation to do so going forward.


There are literally thousands if not millions of Black people who have been discriminated against personally and professionally because of their hair type, texture, color, or other traits that have absolutely nothing to do with their ability to perform or be a good human. For Black women, in particular, a study conducted by Dove suggests that they are “80% more likely to change their natural hair to conform to social norms or expectations at work.”

Back in 2019, California became the first state to protect and ban discrimination against black students and employees over natural hairstyles with the CROWN act. Shortly after California signed and sealed the legislation, both New York and New Jersey introduced their own versions of the law into effect.

“There’s a human element to this,” Californian governor Gavin Newsom said at the time.

“We don’t want to diminish people, we don’t want to demean people … We have to own up to the sins of the past,” Newsom said. “I hope that folks are paying attention all across this country.”

Sound off in the comments section about some of your experiences and don’t be afraid to air out the employer or company who tried to weaponize your follicles against you.


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