Say it ain’t so!
It seems that in order to get through the business school’s five year MBA program, male students have to ditch the cornrow look and even locs. According to the ABC affiliate in Virginia, the dean of the business school in Hampton, Sid Credle, stands by the ban, which started in 2001, and says by having it, more of his students have been able to land real world jobs they’ve studied hard for. “We’ve been very successful. We’ve placed more than 99 percent of the students who have graduated from this school, this program.” A spokesperson for the school by the name of Naima Ford also said, “These students choose to be in this program and aspire to be leaders in the business world. We model these students after the top African-Americans in the business world.”
In their minds, including Credle’s specifically, those clocking major figures and making the big decisions in the corporate world are not touting locs down their backs or Allen Iverson-esque braids in funky designs. Instead, they’re clean cut and have an even cleaner image.
“What we do is pay tribute to that image and say those are your role models. This is a way you will look when you become president. If you’re going to play baseball, you wear baseball uniforms. If you’re going to play tennis, your wear tennis uniform. Well you’re playing that business.”
Whether or not people are mad about the ban doesn’t matter to him, his main goal is to get his students the jobs they seek, once they get it, they can do whatever they want. While representatives for the business school stand by the ban hardcore, students at the school are very heated by the decision, including incoming freshman Uriah Bethea, who says he would just find a new major before he compromised hair for a program (he wears locs by the way): “I don’t think it should matter what the hairstyle. It’s my life. I should be able to do whatever I want to do.”
He can do whatever he likes, but if he wants to enroll in the business school’s MBA program, not so much.
When I first heard this story, all I could think to say was “WOW!” It’s beyond crazy to me that a historically black university would be so excited to tell people that India Arie was wrong, and that you are indeed your hair. Skip your hard earned grades, experience and work ethic, sir, to finish a degree and get yourself a 9-5 and 401k, your hair has to be as tame and conformist as possible. In this day and age, I know it’s harder than ever to lock down a good job, but do you really want to work at a place where someone would base what you’re capable of off of what’s on the top of your head? This school should let these men find out for themselves if the business world is a friendly place for natural hair and eclectic hairstyles on their own and allow them at the moment to focus more on their studies and less on their locks. But that’s just my opinion.
Would you cut your hair if your area of studies required it?
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