Blacks Get Weave; Can Whites Get Locks?

Race Manners: You can, but it's not the same. Don't expect to enjoy the style without the scrutiny.

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So I think the most supportive thing you can do is to warn him about this burden. As a black woman, you know a little something about it (except that, of course, being seen through the lens of race first isn't a choice for you).

Talk to him about what it's like to be the involuntary recipient of everyone's racial baggage as you're just trying to move through the world.

By all means, tell him you'll personally support whatever choice he makes about his hair. Hell, get him some coconut oil for his scalp and a cowrie shell or two to stick on the ends. But you'll do him a disservice if you let him believe that he can borrow a traditionally black look, keep the style and be excused from the scrutiny.

The Root's staff writer, Jenée Desmond-Harris, covers the intersection of race with news, politics and culture. She wants to talk about the complicated ways in which ethnicity, color and identity arise in your personal life -- and provide perspective on the ethics and etiquette surrounding race in a changing America. Follow her on Twitter. 

Need race-related advice? Send your questions to racemanners@theroot.com.

Previously in Race Manners: "N-Word, Rap and Black Friends: Awkward?"

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