A Black woman on TikTok filmed two older white women marveling at her long hair, and viewers are divided in the comments.
The Black woman, Isis Brantley or user @naturallyisis on TikTok, shared footage of the encounter, which garnered more than 500,000 views by Thursday. Brantley has more than 46,000 followers on TikTok.
One woman tells another white woman that “it’s natural,” referring to Brantley’s hair. The second white woman sounds shocked, saying “Really?”
“She does not have any braids in there. That’s all her own hair,” the first white woman says. “Have you ever seen an African American with hair that long?”
The second white woman responds “no” and gestures her hands in disbelief. The two white women ogle at Brantley’s hair as she records them and shows herself in a mirror, smiling.
Viewers were starkly divided on whether the two white women’s shock and word choice were the results of innocent oblivion or racial microaggression.
“Older white people don’t know much about Black hair and are curious,” one viewer commented. “Although her wording came across cringe, it [didn’t] come off as malicious.”
Another viewer wrote, “Their generation grew up in a segregated environment. There’s a lot they still don’t know about POC.”
Brantley responded to the comment, saying “It’s time we teach them about cultural identity. Passing on the integrity of our ancestors.”
Other viewers disagreed, saying the question “Have you ever seen an African American with hair that long?” was laced with racist undertones.
“Ummmmmm hell no. Why wasn’t she checked,” one user asked.
“The disrespect,” another person said.
Several viewers accused Brantley of living for “white validation” and said she should have called them out instead.
“She’s living for that white validation instead of checking them for the micro aggressions,” one person said. Another commented, “Why didn’t y’all check her.”
But Brantley saw the situation in a different light.
In several comments to such replies, Brantely said it’s important to “teach with love.” She said words don’t teach, but actions do.
Brantley did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
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