Boston News Anchor Receives Praise for Joining Ranks of Black Journalists Who Are Rocking Natural Hair On-Air

by Xara Aziz
Instagram @edwardslatoyia

A Boston-based news anchor is receiving praise for rocking her natural hair while reporting the news.

Latoyia Edwards said she permed her hair as a child, so when she had her own daughter, she felt it was important for her daughter to wear her hair naturally. But after her daughter complained about being bullied in school because of her hair, she thought she would wear box braids on live TV.

“I remember giving her a speech saying, ‘You have to be proud of your natural hair,’” Edwards told Bay State Banner. “Even though she never said it, I felt like she thought ‘Well, you don’t wear your hair naturally. You fry and dye and weave it.’ And I just thought, how can I be authentic to my angel, my little girl, and really show up for her?”

Edwards, a news anchor on NBC10 Boston, is part of a growing phenomenon happening among Black anchors, who are ditching relaxers and choosing to wear their hair natural.

According to the report, Black news anchors are sometimes told that they should report the news with their hair straightened to “fit Eurocentric beauty styles, and that wearing their hair naturally or in braids is unprofessional.” 

But Edwards is choosing a different path and is following a wave of other Black news presenters who are wearing their hair natural.

Last year, Massachusetts passed the Crown Act, which bans hair discrimination in the workplace. The move is a part of the reason why more anchors are going natural.

“Can you feel the joy?” Amaka Ubaka, a 7News Boston anchor, wrote in an Instagram post where she is seen rocking braids.

A woman with Nigerian roots, Ubaka said she used to love wearing her hair in braids and afros but things changed when she became an on-air journalist.

“It was like straight hair is the accepted look, not curly, and definitely not textured like the 4C hair I have,” Ubaka said. “I was wearing wigs and weaves and anything I could do to try to just fit into the mold of what I was supposed to do.” 

Now she says Edwards was one of the inspirations that made her want to report the news with natural hair.

“It doesn’t take away from your professionalism,” Ubaka said. “It’s just you being authentically who you are and making your job way easier to manage because you’re not trying to fit into a square hole.”

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