Ava DuVernay Had Twitter Praising The Beauty Of #LocLife After Nonprofit Backed By The NFL And Roc Nation Ignites Controversy
#Loclife trending in support of the teens told their hair held them back.
A nonprofit backed by the NFL and Roc Nation came under fire for cutting off Black teens' locs in an apparent attempt to make them look more polished and professional.
The Chicago-based Crushers Club drew the ire of Twitter after two tweets from 2016 resurfaced. The tweets showed Sally Hazelgrove, head of the nonprofit, cutting off the locs of two Black teens.
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The Chicago Sun-Times reports the organization received $200,000 from Meek Mill and Rapsody through the Inspire Change Initiative, a joint endeavor between Roc Nation and the NFL's social justice arm.
In the past few days, the Crushers Club has been doing damage control. A tweet with the term "All Lives Matter" and a tweet to Donald Trump asking for assistance with gang violence were both deleted.
Despite the accusations of racism and insensitivity, Hazelgrove claimed only two of the hundreds of young people she's worked with asked to have their locs cut.
”Out of 500 youth going through our doors, I cut two young men’s hair because they asked me to and we are a family structure and so I did it and didn’t really think about it after that,” the Crushers Club founder said in an email to the Sun-Times.
This picture reminds me of that poor black wrestler who was forced to have his locks cut at his match, in front of everyone while his team & coach did nothing. Also, this woman usn’t even using shears but scissors 1st graders use??? These optics are HORRIBLE. pic.twitter.com/FnZvKo2Sdc— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) September 6, 2019
Twitter users were quick to chide Hazelgrove and continued to chastise Jay-Z for teaming up with NFL. Director Ava DuVernay started the hashtag #loclife to show that a Black person's hairstyle doesn't deter them from succeeding.
Let’s replace those images of a Trump supporter gleefully cutting a young black man’s locs to give him a “better life”... with the beauty and majesty of life with locs. If you adorn yourself with natural locs, share your pictures with the hashtag #loclife. I’ll start. xo pic.twitter.com/IAw0zjfwWN— Ava DuVernay (@ava) September 6, 2019
The Crushers Club Twitter account released a video of one of the teens seen in the photos from three years ago. Apparently, the teen is named Kobe, and he claimed he wanted the locs cut to stop "gangbanging."
Message from Kobe pic.twitter.com/3CdH28pCUE— crushersclub (@crushersclub) September 6, 2019
Even with the addition of Kobe's short message defending the organization, folks were still insistent that Roc Nation could have donated funds to a more worthy organization.