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14 J. Gender Race & Just. 405 (2010-2011)
Black Women Can't Have Blonde Hair in the Workplace

handle is hein.journals/jgrj14 and id is 409 raw text is: Black Women Can't Have Blonde Hair ... in
the Workplace
D. Wendy Greene*
I. INTRODUCTION
Paulette Caldwell's pioneering hair piece' situated Black2 women's
hairstyle choices and the constraints placed upon them in making these
choices within much needed historical and contemporary social context.
Professor Caldwell presented a compelling appraisal of the infamous braids
case, Rogers v. American Airlines,3 and in doing so, offered a poetic,
personal narrative which gave a voice to the game of tug-of-war that Black
* Associate Professor of Law, Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. B.A., cum laude,
Xavier University of Louisiana, 1999; J.D., Tulane University Law School, 2002; LL.M., The
George Washington University School of Law, 2008. wendy.greene@samford.edu. This article is
inspired by the work of Professor Paulette Caldwell, to whom I am very grateful for igniting the
legal conversation on the intersection between race, gender, justice, and hair, and for her genuine
support and encouragement. Many thanks to The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice for the
invitation to participate in this important symposium on intersectionality and the law and for the
exceptional work of the editors in preparing this piece for publication. For the brainstorming
sessions at various stages of this article, I extend my appreciation to: Professors Angela Onwuachi-
Willig, Trina Jones, Natasha Martin, Mario Barnes, D. Aaron Lacy, Deleso Alford Washington,
Jamie Fox, Cassandra Adams, LaJuana Davis, Alyssa DiRusso, Bob Greene, and Belle Stoddard;
Milton and Doris Glymph Greene, Kimberly Greene and Charmayne Fillmore; and to the students in
my Fall 2010 employment discrimination course. This Article benefitted greatly from presentations
at: the University of Iowa College of Law; Cumberland School of Law at Samford University;
Stetson University College of Law; the Third National People of Color Legal Scholarship
Conference at Seton Hall University School of Law; and the Critical Race Studies Symposium at the
UCLA School of Law. Additionally, this Article greatly benefitted from the support of my family,
friends, and the Cumberland School of Law administration and faculty.
I.  Paulette M. Caldwell, A Hair Piece: Perspectives on the Intersection of Race and Gender,
1991 DUKE L.J. 365 (1991).
2.  Professor Kimberl6 Crenshaw has explained that Black deserves capitalization because
Blacks like Asians [and] Latinos . . . constitute a specific cultural group and, as such, require
denotation as a proper noun. Kimberl6 Williams Crenshaw, Race, Reform, and Entrenchment:
Transformation and Legitimation in Antidiscrimination Law, 101 HARV. L. REV. 1331, 1332 n.2
(1988) (citing Catharine A. MacKinnon, Feminism, Marxism, Method and State: An Agenda for
Theory, 7 SIGNs 515, 516 (1982)). Additionally, Professor Neil Gotanda contends that the
capitalization of Black is appropriate since it has deep political and social meaning as a liberating
term. Neil Gotanda, A Critique of Our Constitution is Colorblind, 44 STAN. L. REV. 1, 4 (1991).
I agree with both Professors Crenshaw and Gotanda and for both reasons throughout this Article
when I reference people of African descent individually and collectively the word, Black, will be
represented as a proper noun. However, I maintain the preference of authors to whom I cite directly
as it pertains to their reference of particular racial groups with proper nouns.
3.  Rogers v. American Airlines, 527 F. Supp. 229 (S.D.N.Y. 1981).

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