"Ghetto Hair" is Just a Demeaning Way to Refer to African Hair Styles
The word "ghetto" has been used to degrade African cultural expression and is synonymous with poverty and working-class people. For example, if a "black" woman talks too loud - she's ghetto. If a "black" man enjoys chicken - he's ghetto. Or if a "black" person adds something interesting to their hairstyle - they're ghetto.
This way of thinking derives from African people's long history of oppression which began as an attack on Africa. From that time on, our cultural identity has also been attacked through colonialism.
Colonialism methodically strips colonized people of their identity through policy, violence, and societal edicts. This tactic makes the colonized person malleable to the ideas of the colonial society and people then demonize the same customs that once celebrated who they are. As we shed our traditional cultural foundation, we turn toward things that the dominant society deems acceptable.
Despite these efforts to degrade our culture, we've always found a way to maintain and celebrate who we are!
In this video, I explain why we should shed the learned shame associated with African cultural expression.