WeatherNation Hires Meteorologist Fired for Explaining Black Hair

Rhonda Lee was fired from a Shreveport, La., station in 2012 after responding to a viewer’s racist remarks about her Afro.

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WeatherNation Hires Rhonda Lee Fired for Explaining Black Hair

Rhonda Lee

Courtesy of Rhonda Lee  

Rhonda Lee, a meteorologist thrust into the national spotlight in 2012 after she was fired from a TV station for responding to a viewer’s racist remarks about her Afro, has a new gig. The Vane reports that Lee announced Friday that she’s been hired as meteorologist by WeatherNation.

Lee was fired from the KTBS-TV, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La., during the winter holiday season in 2012, she told Journal-isms at the time, because she responded to a racial remark posted by a viewer, Emmitt Vacocu, on October 1 on the station's Facebook page. He wrote, "the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady.the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient."

Lee responded the same day: “Hello Emmitt--I am the 'black lady' to which you are referring. I'm sorry you don't like my ethnic hair. And no I don't have cancer. I'm a non-smoking, 5'3, 121 lbs, 25 mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I'm in perfectly healthy physical condition.

“I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn't grow downward. It grows upward. Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don't find it necessary. I'm very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society. Little girls (and boys for that matter) need to see that what you look like isn't a reason to not achieve their goals.

“Conforming to one standard isn't what being American is about and I hope you can embrace that.

“Thank you for your comment and have a great weekend and thank for watching.”

Welcome back, Rhonda!  

Read more at The Vane.