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curly hair teenager
PHOTO COURTESY OF OOLAM

When I was in fifth grade, I had a teacher who took it upon herself to try to shatter my 10-year-old confidence.

It didn’t take long for her to settle on my hair as a target.

My parents decided at an early age to let me learn how to do my own hair and style it correctly. Unlike all of the other African-American girls in my grade, my hair was natural. My teacher would tell me my hair was a distraction to the class when left down but she wouldn’t say that to anyone else in my class when they did the same. She was basically chastising me for having the type of hair that grew from my scalp. I didn’t understand what I did wrong.

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