Rapper JamarzOnMarz has begun a campaign to help change and outlaw racist school uniform policies, with particular attention to discrimination against certain hairstyles.
Real name James Emmanuel, he is calling on NSW Minister of Education Sarah Mitchell to help outlaw uniform policies that discriminate against natural African hairstyles and textured hair, such as afros, braids, dreadlocks etc.
“Erasure of African culture and identity should not be an additional cost to attending a private school in Australia,” Emmanuel said in a press statement.
“Whether my Afro is out or in a protective style of braids or cornrows, twists, buns or dreadlocks, it is a direct link to my heritage.
“My hair is my culture, and ultimately my identity.”
Emmanuel also recounts a personal experience he’s had with this discrimination, with his high school forcing him to remove his protective braids he had received during a trip to Kenya, despite it complying with the school’s grooming code.
Emmanuel has also begun a petition on change.org, which has garnered over 7,000 signatures at the time of writing including support from Jen Boyce of Ball Park Music, Tuka of Thundamentals and more.
Learn more about Emmanuel’s mission, and sign his petition, here.