The New York mayoral race is well underway with advocate-turned-candidate Bill de Blasio campaigning hard…with his 15 year old son, Dante, starring in his television ad. Dante’s words are real as he articulates why his father is the best choice for the city of New York. What has overshadowed the message? His afro.
In an interview regarding his hair; Dante spoke of his hair care regimen which includes picking it out every day, washing it weekly and getting it trimmed monthly. A writer for Talking Points Memo, tweeted Dante’s parents in response to their son’s interview:
“@deBlasioNYC and @Chirlane should probably encourage Dante to give his hair more than a weekly washing”; “I’m assuming he showers more than weekly and doesn’t shampoo but the article wasn’t too precise.”
Dante’s mother, Chirlane McCray, replied:
“Walker obviously knows little, if anything, about African American hair care!”
The afro has taken over; “Dante de Blasio afro” is an auto-fill option in Google! We’ve seen afros before, both large and small. Is his afro a powerful political statement; do the words in the advertisement make a stronger impression on voters coming from a biracial teen with cool hair than they would coming from a middle-aged white man from Brooklyn? Or is Dante just a young man embracing his natural texture as he states he’s been cultivating his afro since the third grade?
Dante’s long-term impact remains to be seen, but hair matters in politics – clearly. What do you think?
Love Your Hair,