When I found out I was working a story about black hair braiding, I was ecstatic. It's a story that has interested me for quite a while and the issue of natural black hair has been in the news a lot lately. Black hair has become quite a political issue in the last couple of years. Recent stories about complaints on the Internet about USA gymnast Gabby Doublas's hair have sparked the issue back into conversation, but talks about natural black hairstyles, especially in reference to black role models such as First Lady Michelle Obama have been in the headlines for awhile now.
Though it's always been a bit of a hot-button issue and has been known as a political topic, it hasn't been really dictated by law at all. In the 70s, afros were a statement, but it wasn't as if it was illegal to have one. But discussions about cosmetology licenses in Utah and Oregon have moved the topic more into the sphere of legislation, and pushed those who hope to bring out change into the spotlight. If you're interested in the issue, The Oregonian wrote a great story about Amber Starks' battle to change the cosmetology license procedures in Oregon.