so, we're entering the last moments that mastodon has before i go on my "dreadlocks are only for black people" tirade

slavery, kidnapping conditions 

okay here we go. so historically, dreadlocks are a hairstyle that directly comes from slavery. when my people were taken from our native lands and forced on the ships, they were crammed so tightly, they would often get drenched in each others bodily fluids. that, plus time, and general lack of access to hygiene, matted the hair of the enslaved people and created this "style"

slavery, kidnapping conditions 

even in this picture, which depicts around 500 people, is an understatement. it's known now that slave ships easily had double what this shows.

when they unloaded the ships, the story goes that the slave owners mocked the state of the enslaved people's hair, and called their appearance "dreadful"

so this right here is one of the main points of why only black people have a right to wear our hair like this. it's directly a result of slavery.

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@senzubean
Furthermore, most enslaved blacks were not provided any implements with which to comb/part their hair. To further enforce the idea that black people were animals, they were forced to use sheep card brushes which have sharp metal teeth and are typically used for prepping sheared sheep wool for spindling.
See Emma Dabiri's Don't Touch My Hair for more .

@senzubean @kavbojka also chiming in to add they have an anti-colonial history - the Mau Mau had dreads because they refused to cut their hair until Kenya was free from colonialism & many Black people around the world wore them for related reasons, most famously Rastafarians in the Caribbean

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