Reporter AJ Walker celebrates ‘freedom’ to wear braid on-air

Reporter AJ Walker celebrates 'freedom' to wear braid on-air




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Natural hair? It’s time all of us care.

Longtime television journalist AJ Walker not too way back switched up her on-camera look, swapping her fast, straightened mane for prolonged braids. The investigative reporter for West Palm Beach’s CBS 12 News has appeared on show for over a decade, nonetheless that’s the main time she’s ever felt free to rock braids for work.

“Not many people realize that African-American and other women feel and often are forced to wear hairstyles that the company or news station deems acceptable,” Walker tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

She explains that whereas she had approached her earlier employers about shopping for and promoting in her straight hairstyle for a further pure ‘do, all of them found delicate strategies to discourage her: “the answer was, ‘Let’s keep your hair the way it is,’ ‘We like your hair the way it is’ and ‘That’s too dramatic of a change,’” she says.

However, after her mother’s dying quite a lot of months up to now and a fast sabbatical, the Lansing, Michigan, native gave it but yet one more try.

Now, she says, she’s carrying a hairstyle that she not solely prefers, nonetheless that moreover pays homage to her late mom: “The freedom to wear my hair in a style that is a part of my culture — and a skill handed down to me from my mother — gives me a stronger sense of self-esteem.”

Walker’s daring and beautiful switch comes at a second when the notion of “hair discrimination” — denying employment options to people primarily based totally on their hairstyles — is coming beneath hearth.

In New York City last month, the Human Rights Commission formally banned this racially charged observe, giving victims of hair discrimination the licensed correct to press prices.

For Walker, she says that exhibiting up to work in braids gives her confidence as a journalist, and as a job model for various African-American girls.

“This is a hairstyle I chose for myself,” she says. “It reflects who I am.”

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