Captain Obvs: Don’t Touch Strangers Without Asking

Marisa Demarco
1 min read
Captain Obvs: DonÕt Touch Strangers Without Asking
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I stumbled across this excellent opinion piece called “Keep Your Hands Off the Hair” today on NPR. It’s by Allison Keyes, guest host of Tell Me More. She talks about doing her hair in an Afro puff and having people walk up and touch it without asking. She says it’s a race issue and a personal space issue.

It reminded me of
this essay by local Virginia Lovliere Hampton that we ran back in 2007. Fantastic writing. It blew my mind a little, three years ago. Hair-touching is such an awkward blindspot, an assumption, an insidious way racism asserts itself.

Keyes dug up many more blogs talking about the same thing: Strangers feeling up black people’s hair without asking permission. Frankly, I think it’s weird to even ask someone you don’t know if you can touch their hair.

Captain Obvious and Miss Manners agree: Don’t be creepy.
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