The TSA Says It Will Stop Racially Profiling Black Hair

Glad to hear this. As someone who has experienced a hair pat down at the airport, it’s a humiliating experience.



Black hair has faced discrimination in a slew of places. Back in the late 70s and early 80s, women who worked at hotels and as hostesses in restaurants were often the target of dress policies that labeled their cornrows as unprofessional and cause for dismissal. Since then, the news is full of stories of small children, enlisted soldiers and even men delivering Fedex packages who have been told that something is wrong with their hair. In the new millennium, airports are one of the culprits—specifically TSA agents who do security screenings.

Many Black women have had their hair searched as a part of domestic airport security screenings. Once they have gone through the full body scan, these women are then asked to step aside and an agent in latex gloves rifles through their hair, as if it could be hiding an explosive or weapon. As common as this practice has…

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