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Young Revolutionaries: South African Students Protest School's Ban On Natural Hair

Pretoria Girls High School is currently under investigation. 

An affluent South Africa high school is under investigation for its rules against afros and other natural hair styles. On Aug. 29, students at Pretoria Girls High School walked out in protest catching global attention for taking a stance against and exposing on-going racism at the school.

Images of the protest went viral, birthing the hashtag #StopRacismAtPretoriaGirls and an online petition urging education officials to look into the school's policies.

Without explicitly mentioning afros, Pretoria’s general appearance policy, the formerly all-White school requires that all hair must be “neat” and away from the face.

“If hair is long enough to be tied back, it must be tied back neatly in a ponytail, no lower than the nape of the neck, with a navy blue elastic,” reads the policy. “Ponytails may not be visible from the front. No crocodile, banana, or other fancy clips are allowed. All hair must be off the face and not be in the eyes. Hair buns must be tight with no loose hair and have to be worn in the neck, and not on top of the head. The hair may not cover elastic.”

Students are not allowed to dye their hair, or wear shaved heads, and although “cornrows, natural dreadlocks and singles/braids (with or without extensions) are allowed” the hair must be “a maximum of 10mm in diameter.”

The policy goes on to state that singles and braids “must be the same length and be the natural color of the girl’s hair,” and that any braids shorter than collar length “must be kept off the face with a plain navy or tortoise shell alive band.”

Longer braids must be tied back and students aren’t allowed to wear beads or any hair decorations. And “no patterned cornrows” are permitted. “Cornrows must run parallel from each other from the forehead to the nape of the neck,” the policy states.

The school’s hair policy is currently suspended pending an investigation. Meanwhile, officials from the Gauteng Department of Education have since met with students who shared personal accounts of racism at the school.

“I have a natural Afro, but a teacher told me I need to comb my hair because it looks like a bird's nest,” one student shared.

Students recalled stories of being told that they “look like monkeys” and were discouraged from speaking African languages. Others say they were told that they should be attending schools in under-funded predominately black townships.

Zulaikha Patel, the 13-year-old photoed above, has gotten in trouble for wearing her hair in an afro, and says a teacher at Pretoria called her speech on a black feminist racist and poorly researched.

See more on the protest below.

 

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Fans Tweet About Erykah Badu's Defense Of R. Kelly At A Chicago Show

Erykah Badu has remained silent after Lifetime aired the six-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly. The singer and entertainer who once referred to Kelly as her "brother" while hosting the Soul Train Awards and has kept a low profile during the series.

Badu has finally broken her silence during a show at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom in which attendees say the Grammy-award winning singer defended Kelly and instructed others to "keep their opinions to themselves."

Erykah Badu came to Chicago and told us all she finna love R Kelly anyway & we can keep our opinion to ourselves. Mad disrespectful to our city and a shitty use of her platform. Crusty ass bitch.

— hot headed yam (@tomapapito) January 20, 2019

Another attendee tweeted Badu attempt at trying to bring light to the hypocrisy in the public outcry against Kelly.

“what if one of the people who was assaulted by R Kelly becomes an offender? we gonna crucify them too?” -erykah badu at her chicago concert

— IG: @boydonavin (@boyDonavin) January 20, 2019

Many in attendance were hurt by Badu's actions and left conflicted.

I really want to say how much i loved Erykah Badu’s concert tonight.

But i can’t get over how she tried to justify and defend R. Kelly’s actions and reputation during her set... I’m so disappointed...

— jacque (@jacquemarquez_) January 20, 2019

I really don’t want to believe Erykah Badu is sacrificing her music legacy for R. Kelly. I don’t. everyone has their ignorance and places that deeply disappoint me, including my favorite artists (and myself), but supporting child predators is such a nefarious thing to do.

— Myles E. Johnson (@hausmuva) January 20, 2019

This isn't the first time Badu has come under fire for what many deem to be problematic commentary. In April 2016, Badu agreed with a school district that was making it mandatory for girls to wear longer skirts as a way to not "distract" the boys.

Erykah Badu's defense of R. Kelly prompted Twitter to dig up old tweets.

erykah badu already told y’all she doesn’t believe GIRLS when it comes to matters of sexual assault, harassment, rape, etc. so why y’all shocked now? pic.twitter.com/Eogzatc9aO

— ALEXIS$ 🧚🏾‍♀️ (@lexxdadon) January 20, 2019

Erykah Badu said she empathizes with Hitler because he was a beautiful painter. Why are y'all surprised?

— Experiment 625 (@Mariah__Cara) January 20, 2019

Writer and director dream hampton said Badu was one of many celebrities she contacted to be in the series but denied her request.

Does Erykah Badu's defense of R. Kelly make you think twice about the singer? Will you continue to listen to Badu's music, or does the defense of R. Kelly mean she's now an enabler? Sound off in the comments.

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Michael Steele

Drake's "In My Feelings" Received The Kidz Bop Treatment

After the release of Drake's chart-topping Scorpion album, his single "In My Feelings" skyrocketed to number one, so it's no surprise the City Girls assisted track received the Kidz Bop treatment.

Since 2000, the compilation LP has sold about 17 million copies and over the weekend, Kidz Bop released its 39th installment offering the world a G-rated and tween-friendly version of today's biggest hits.

Once Twitter learned Kidz Bop laid its prepubescent hands on Drake's song, there was a mixed bag of feelings. Some went along with it and commented positively, while others were frankly offended.

I just saw a Kidz Bop commercial with the Kidz Bop version of In My Feelings and I feel like a curse has been placed on me

— Jeremy (@TacticalRPG) January 10, 2019

That Kidz Bop version of In My Feelings lets me know that hell is a real place.

— Nappy Head Nietzsche (@AugustCulture) January 19, 2019

This #KidzBop version of "In My Feelings" is SENDING me! 😂 pic.twitter.com/EQzTwdbfb6

— Nicholas D. (@Creat1ve) January 18, 2019

This isn't the first time Drake's music has been Kidz Bopped. For Kidz Bop 31, "Hotline Bling" was also featured. The new 18-track album also features Cardi B's "I Like It" as well as Khalid and Normani's "Love Lies."

The lyrics to the hook received a slight change.

KiKi do you love me/are you with me/say you'll never ever leave from beside me/cause I want ya/and I need ya/and I'm down for ya always

And when it came time for the City Girls portion of the song, they turned that down as well.

all of us kids and we hangin' in the rain/hangin' in rain/I need a black card with the code to the safe/code to the safe.

Hey, kids need love too. Watch the Kidz Bop version of Drake's "In My Feelings" below.

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Sarah Duncan

South Carolina High School Students May Soon Take A Personal Finance Class

High school students in South Carolina may now have to pass a personal finance class in order to receive their diploma.

According to reports, Republican lawmakers Luke Rankin and Horry County Senator have filed a pre-bill that will require high school students to take a class that will aim to help students learn how to better budget their money.

"You can really put yourself in a really bad hole that you're gonna be digging yourself out of the rest of your life," financial planner Dr. Christopher St. John said.

The course will cover insurance, taxes, retirement planning, budgeting, banking, and how to avoid too much debt.

Finance website Make Lemonade reports there are more than 44 million borrowers who owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt within the United States. Student loan debt has become the second highest debt among consumers followed by mortgage debt.

The class of 2016, reportedly has $37,172 in student loan debt.

If the bill is passed, it would go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year. The course would be required and student who take a test at the end of the year prior to graduation.

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