Sexyy Red’s latest track, “Shake Yo Dreads,” has become a sensation, serving as an anthem for Black men across the nation. However, its popularity is not without controversy, as a Houston-area student faced suspension for his dreadlocks, sparking a broader discussion on discrimination and grooming codes.
Darryl George’s School Suspension
The infectious chorus of Sexyy Red’s “Shake Yo Dreads” serves as a rallying cry for Black men, encouraging them to embrace and celebrate their natural hair. However, amidst the popularity and cultural significance of “Shake Yo Dreads,” a recent incident in a Houston-area school has brought the issue of discrimination and grooming codes to the forefront.
Darryl George, an eighteen-year-old Barbers Hill High School student, was suspended for violating the school’s dress and grooming codes, specifically due to his dreadlocks. Court documents reveal that George had been serving in-school suspension since August 31, 2023, solely for his choice of hairstyle.
Discrimination Against Natural Hair
The school’s principal, Lance Murphy, cited multiple infractions such as violation of the tardy policy and disruption of the in-school suspension classroom, in addition to the dress and grooming code.
The George family received an official letter from the school. In the letter, Murphy wrote:
“As the School Principal, I have determined that your child has engaged in chronic or repeated disciplinary infractions that violate the District’s previously communicated standards of student conduct.”
This suspension continues a longstanding legal battle between the George family and the Barbers Hill Independent School District. It centers around George’s hairstyle, locs, which he often wears in braids or a ponytail. The school district considers this a violation of their dress code policies, while the George family argues that such policies discriminate against hairstyles associated with Black individuals.
‘Not About To Play With Them’
The George family refuses to cut their son’s hair, citing Texas’s CROWN Act, a law aimed at prohibiting discrimination based on hairstyles commonly associated with race.
Their refusal has prompted support from activists and advocates fighting for hair equality. Candice Matthews, the spokesperson for the George family, took to her Instagram to highlight the situation, tagging attorney Allie Booker, who is representing their case. She captioned the post, “Not about to play with them,” adding hammer emojis.
Disgruntled fans reacted to the post. One user commented, “The school leaders’ racism won’t allow them to think logically.” Another said, “Crown Act TEXAS MUST be obeyed 💥💥💥.”
‘Shake Yo Dreads!’
In this captivating song, Sexxy Red repeats the rebellious chorus lyrics:
“Shake yo dreads, Shake yo dreads, Shake yo dreads!”
According to Genius, the track conveys a message of self-assuredness, resilience, and individuality, resonating deeply with its listeners.
Sexxy Red first previewed “Shake Yo Dreads” via an Instagram Live session on September 5, 2023. The snippet of the track quickly gained traction on TikTok, turning it into an anthem for individuals with dreadlocks to proudly shake their hair, hence the name of the song.
The accompanying rebellious dance, showcased by Sexxy Red and their friends, involves energetic head movements that allow their dreads to flow freely, symbolizing a celebration of natural hair.
Enforcing The CROWN Act
The incident involving Darryl George mirrors the ongoing fight for equality and acceptance of natural hairstyles.
Last month, George’s mother, Darresha, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general, and school officials, alleging a failure to enforce the CROWN Act. This courageous move seeks to bring attention to the importance of equal treatment regardless of hairstyle.
In 2022, California made history by being the first state to legally ban racial hair discrimination, a significant step towards addressing the issue of hair equality. The passing of the CROWN Act brought joy to many within the Black community as it embraced natural hairstyles and celebrated hair diversity.
Halle Bailey Embraces Her Natural Locs As “Ariel”
Halle Bailey, known for her beautiful natural locs, particularly embodies the significance of the CROWN Act. Her portrayal of “Ariel” in the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid showcased her locs and highlighted the meticulous process behind creating Ariel’s hair. This representation brings attention to the importance and cost of embracing Black hair in mainstream media, aligning with the fight for equal treatment and acceptance.
Add’l Reporting By: Dorian Waller