US schools criticised for bans on dreadlocks, Afros
OKLAHOMA (AP) - "Why are you so sad?" a TV reporter asked the little girl with a bright pink bow in her hair.
"Because they didn't like my dreads," she sobbed, wiping her tears. "I think that they should let me have my dreads."
With those words, second-grader Tiana Parker of Tulsa, Oklahoma, found herself, at age 7, at the centre of decades of debate over standards of black beauty, cultural pride and freedom of expression.
It was no isolated incident at the predominantly black Deborah Brown Community School, which in the face of outrage in late August apologised and rescinded language banning dreadlocks, Afros, mohawks and other "faddish" hairstyles it had called unacceptable and potential health hazards.