World Afro Day
World Afro Day is a holiday observed annually on September 15th that celebrates natural, curly hair in all its forms. It encourages black people and people of mixed-race ethnicity to embrace their natural hair. This day also attempts to raise public awareness about the discrimination that often occurs based on people’s hairstyles.
It’s not uncommon for people of color to be told that their hairstyle is “too ethnic” or “inappropriate” for the workplace, and this just isn’t right. Fortunately, there are plenty of people working to eliminate these forms of discrimination, and this holiday is just another tool for them to do just that.
The History of World Afro Day
Michelle De Leon founded World Afro Day on September 15th, 2017. As a stylist and consultant, she launched this holiday to promote awareness and acceptance of Afro-centric hair and to encourage people to embrace their natural hair texture.
It was also seen as a holiday that could challenge the discrimination that people of color often face regarding their natural hair. The final purpose of this holiday was to promote positive representations of Afro hair in advertising and media.
She felt the need to create this holiday after struggling with societal bias in her own life. She wanted to make a better life for her 8-year-old daughter, so she created the holiday to put into the world the positivity towards Afro hair that she wanted to see.
This holiday soon spread around the world and is now observed on every continent, except perhaps Antarctica.
Observing World Afro Day
Everyone, everywhere, can take the time to observe this holiday — regardless of what type of hair they have. They can educate themselves more about hair and help chip away at the discrimination that exists in the world.
People can also post pictures of their natural hair on social media to inspire others to take pride in their own natural hairstyles. Additionally, people can spread the news about this holiday using the hashtag #WorldAfroDay on social media.