#ItsBiggerThanAHeadWrap: Students In North Carolina Fight For Their Right To Wear Head Wraps During Black History Month

Students and parents in Durham, North Carolina are demonstrating for the right to wear head wraps in honor of Black History Month.

Source: Instagram user @gemynii

Durham County Public Schools’ dress code policy in North Carolina came into question this week after an incident at the School for Creative Studies, reports WTVD.

A group of students at the Durham magnet school decided to wear African head wraps to kick off celebrating Black History Month, but were instructed to remove them due to the ‘no hats or head coverings’ policy in the school district’s dress code. Parents said the students were threatened with punishment if they continued, however, the school denied the claim.

After meeting with the students, the principal gave permission for the them to wear the head wraps as part of a learning opportunity for the greater school community for their Black History Month programming.

This solution was not enough for the concerned parents. They then held a protest to stress that students should be allowed to wear head wraps beyond the day granted, so they can have the right to always express their culture, history and heritage.

"Our girls should be able to express themselves culturally, regardless of whether it's Black History Month or not," Dosali Reed-Bandele, a parent of a junior at the school, tells WTVD."They should be able to wear their head wraps... It happened to me in high school but I had to stand firm to my principal and say, this is a part of my culture."

Using the hashtag, #ItsBiggerThanAHeadWrap, supporters continued to show solidarity and document the demonstration.

According to a statement WTVD received from Durham County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Bert L’Homme, L'Homme planned on sharing the parents’ grievances with a committee that looked over revisions to the district’s student conduct code.

The meeting occurred Thursday evening, and according to the minutes of the meeting made available on the official website of the school district, the incident was not raised and the policy did not indicate much change.

Letters of support can be sent to the students here.

A parent of one of the girls in trouble for wearing a headwrap to school. #itsbiggerthanaheadwrap

A video posted by Gemynii (@gemynii) on

This is our culture.....not a distraction #itsbiggerthanaheadwrap A photo posted by Gemynii (@gemynii) on

Wrapped solidarity because #itsbiggerthanaheadwrap A photo posted by Journé (@journey_sofab) on

Alexis and Alexis both wrapped in love and standing in solidarity #itsbiggerthanaheadwrap A photo posted by Gemynii (@gemynii) on

#itsbiggerthanaheadwrap A photo posted by Journé (@journey_sofab) on

Crown right for #formation #itsbiggerthanaheadwrap A photo posted by Gemynii (@gemynii) on

#itsbiggerthanaheadwrap #formation A photo posted by Gemynii (@gemynii) on

#itsbiggerthanaheadwrap A photo posted by Gemynii (@gemynii) on

#ItsBiggerThanaHeadwrap #BlackGirlMagic #Love✊? A photo posted by Brittany R. ?? (@unapologetically_blaque) on

Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Interview: Made Kuti Talks Afrobeat, Activism & Family Legacy

We speak with Made about his debut album and the part he's playing in keeping the Kuti heritage alive.