Recently, headwraps, headscarves, and durags have had a re-emergence in American youth culture. Stars like Alicia Keys and Lupita Nyongo have embraced their African roots and worn their scarves as a way to celebrate their heritage. With this re-emergence of the headwrap, Black people have been fighting to maintain its cultural significance, bringing awareness to the fact that it is not just for fashion.
Unfortunately, as we see more young people reclaiming this garment, we are also seeing a lot of negative backlash. Take for instance, the controversy sparked by high school girls wearing headwraps to school in both North Carolina and Florida. In both cases, school authorities ruled the headwraps a “violation of school policy” and required the students to remove them on school premises. Both cases received immense negative feedback from the students. In North Carolina, the students started the hashtag #itsbiggerthanaheadwrap where black students voiced their opinions about the importance of headscarves. In Florida, the students started a movement called “Black Girls Wrap Wednesday”, where black girls in school wore headwraps in solidarity.
Though we still have a ways to go, it is important to recognize the progress that we have already made. In 2018, the Durag Fest, coined the Met Gala of Durags, was created as a celebration of durags and headwraps in the African-American community. Here is an instance where we can see the youth of today taking a historical garment and modernizing it, thus maintaining its relevance.
Lucky for us, headwraps are far from a thing of the past. The modern youth of today are constantly finding ways to reinvent it, which will keep the scarf around for years and years to come.
Check out this clip where singer/songwriter duo “Oshun” teach us different ways to to tie a headwrap.