Tashara Parker was praised for rocking her natural hair. All Black anchors aren’t so lucky.
A Texas TV reporter went viral after wearing a natural hairstyle on air.
Tashara Parker, who describes herself as a community-focused storyteller, shocked viewers when she decided to rock four vertical buns flaunting her natural hair texture while on the air. The response was mostly positive.
On Oct. 19, the WFAA weather reporter posted on to Twitter:
“I’m so grateful for those of you who continue to support me. I joked around asking people what they thought of this hairstyle and overwhelmingly many of you supported it, but a few said it was unprofessional. It begs the question, who determines what’s professional these days?”
It may be 2020 but Parker has received criticism over the years for flaunting her natural texture. In 2019, California was the first state to pass a bill making discrimination in the workplace based on natural hair illegal. Other states continue to follow suit but when Black people wear their hair naturally on TV it’s still a trending topic.
Parker ultimately went on WFAA to ask what does hair have to do with professionalism?
“Who determines what’s professional these days and why do some people feel like natural Black hair and hairstyles are a debatable topic? From Afros to curls to kinds to braids and anything in between, as Black women, we rock it all. The question becomes why does it matter how we wear our hair? Why does hairstyle determine our level of professionalism in the workplace? The way hair grows out of your head shouldn’t be a trending topic on social media. The style that you wear also shouldn’t trigger that type of reaction. We’ve seen so many situations where Black people are discriminated against because of the way we choose to wear our hair.”
Parker isn’t the only anchor to face discrimination. Anchor Lena Pringle was told she would never keep a broadcast job if she wore her natural hair.
Despite her progress, the fight continues. Brittany Noble says she was fired back in 2019 from her anchor position at Mississippi’s WJTV due to her natural hair.
She told the Today show, “When I was pregnant, I wondered how I would teach my child to love their hair and I didn’t love my own. I asked my news director if I could stop straightening it because I felt like my audience could relate to my authenticity. I wasn’t surprised that my news director wanted me to change my hair ‘back to the way it was because that’s what looked best.”
She continued, “He hired me with the fake hair. I’m sure he didn’t know what I went through every day to achieve the style, but I knew what I was getting into when I signed a contract with WJTV. TV news contracts are similar no matter where you work.”
WJTV says Noble was let go for failing to fulfill her duties and exhausting her maternity leave.
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