Fellow Jamaicans: Can white people have dreadlocks?

My white friend was told that they’re cultural appropriation and is offensive to Jamaican people (by someone who’s not Jamaican 🤦🏾‍♂️) but in my opinion i wouldn’t be offended by it. There’s a voice in my head telling me I should be, but that’s only because I feel like that’s what other people would say. Again in all honesty though, I don’t see white peoples with dreads as super disrespectful or offensive. What do you think?

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Advice

In my opinion. I feel like Jamaicans have real problems to worry about. Like getting food on the table, finding a job etc. These things are first world problems. I’ve never heard a Jamaican living in Jamaica talk about cultural appropriation.

Advice

when i was in college there were a few white hippie kids who acted like this…. they were insufferable.

i am mixed/ mostly white passing so it blew their minds to find out i am Jamaican-American. Their ignorance about Jamaican culture was almost embarrassing.

Advice

This right here. If you’re going to wear locs (or any hair for that matter) don’t disrespect an entire culture that don’t give a damn about your hair in the first place. Just do you and wear your hair.

Advice

My issue with white dreads is two fold:

  1. I’ve met tons of people who (like someone commented above) have dreads as power of some weird mockery of our culture. These are the folk who spout off “Jamaican buzzwords” like an activated dollar store toy whenever they find out I’m Jamaican.

  2. Straight white hair doesn’t loc easily. So a lot of people just don’t wash their hair to keep it matted. I cannot count the number of white dreads with literal mold I’ve come across.

So, besides those cases, I’m fine with it.

Advice

>These are the folk who spout off “Jamaican buzzwords” like an activated dollar store toy whenever they find out I’m Jamaican.

Hahaha…I have a small crew helping me with my house in the US, and I’ve been tempted after hearing where the guys are from…but I held back.

Advice

You can wear the locks as a style but you cannot call yourself a rasta. The culture has been bastardize to make people feel as if it’s just a style but it’s not. Being a rasta is a spiritual belief, it’s a black empowerment movement to fight against systematic oppression and white supremcy. Rastas have gone throw severe persecution in jamaicas history and even to this day they still go through discrimination. there was an incident recently of a girl who had her locks forcefully cut by a police officer and nothing has come of it.

So yes you can try locks as style but don’t call yourself a rasta. Being a rasta is way more than just a style. It would be like wearing a head scarf and then calling yourself Muslim. Being a Muslim is more that just wearing modest clothes and a head scarf it’s a way of life that comes with alot of history, cultural and spiritual significance.

Advice

I respectfully disagree, the reason why rastafari was started was to liberate black people from the ruling colonial powers. Rastafari is a black empowerment movement. This movement was lead by Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie. it’s not just a trend it’s a dedication to the upliftment of black people across the diaspora whether that means black people knowing their true history, supporting black businesses, teaching black children to know and love themselves etc. There is alot of oppression and discrimination that comes from being a rasta. Even to this rasta get treated poorly even in Jamaica being called dirty rasta. When I see a non black person calling themself rasta I see it as offensive. Usually the person will speak to you in a broken patois, mock your accent, talk about weed and Bob Marley constantly. I don’t think people realize how these things come off as if you are making fun of the people.

Other practices Include letting go of worldly things/living of the grid, planting and growing your own food and not eating processed food, abstaining from foods that contain salt (ital food), daily meditation, not eating pork or shell fish/alot are vegan or vegetarian, not wearing shoes (ex. Like mutabaruka), paying homage to spiritual ancestor ‘nyahbinghi’ amongst other things. I just think most of these so called fashion rastas don’t take it seriously. It’s just a way from them to get high and feel psychedelic.

🥬🥱🚬💨☮️✌️

Advice

and what about people who are so light skinned they look white? I agree with you on all points. I’ve known some real Rastafari and have nothing but love and respect. I am geateful for the understanding they’ve given me. BUT There are more ‘mixed’ people than ever, now. Please make a little space for what’s in the heart regardless of the skin tone.

Advice

I by no means have a great love for the white man but you are equating being rastafarian to having dreadlocks. A hairstyle doesnt make a lifestyle and you can have one with out the other. Dreadlock forms on white people naturally if they dont comb there hair for long periods of time same with blackpeople. To truly think that no other people have done so in the history of humanity is truly ignorant. The original post wasnt asking anything about rastafarian. In any case there are many white, chinese, indians who practice and have come to the faith and rasta is love so they are accepted no matter the color of there skin.

Advice

No You read it, youre just butthurt cause you didn’t like the answer because you are a weed smoking psychedelic wannabe rasta that loves the style cause it makes you feel exotic. Also it’s rastafari not rastafarism. Ism is associated to religion rastafari is a black empowerment movement. If you read the history you would know that….

But keep smoking your weed if that’s what makes you feel special.

Advice

😂 nigga I’m a black Jamaican through and through try again wit some odda eediat yankee cuz I’m not the one or the two. I not Rasta but I have nuff Rasta fren and I can assure u they dgaf as long as u follow the Doctrine of Rasta they will accept as one of their own

Advice

Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war. And until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained… now everywhere is war

Advice

They are popular on the beach at resorts. They are pops up all along the beach to set their hair up like that. I think it’s because better for the white women in the heat and swimming. Idk if they let it down or carry it w them across the seas. But I have yet to see any Jamaicans protest the dreadlocks. Now to wear dreadlocks and claim you’re a Rasta yah that’s when it becomes cultural appropriation. I honestly to God think Rastafarians were the ones who inspired the Hippie culture of the 70s tbh but I don’t have a direct link to research that. To answer directly though . No we don’t have a problem with it. Theres no one race in Jamaica. We are mixed race country.

Advice

Lol what a silly question. There is nothing and no one stopping white people from having dreadlocks. But just because it can be done it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do it. Cultural appropriation does exist but the average white person who has dreadlocks isn’t that

Advice

Black people did not invent dread locks. It just so happens that we have the best hair texture for them aesthetically and practically. Anyone that shuns other races for getting them is ignorant. There are cultures all over the world that had them irrespective of Rastas popularizing them. I’d advise a white person not to get them though. For their texture, its not practical.

Advice

>My white friend was told that they’re cultural appropriation

basically every ancient civilization had dreads as a hair style at one point or another. it is not specific to one race or culture. i don’t get why so many white American liberals want to be offended for everyone else and dictate what is or is not offensive to them and their cultures. i find Jamaicans some of the most eager to share their culture, not gatekeep it.

that said, not everyone can rock dreads, but that is purely from a style perspective.

Advice

Imitation is flattery so it’s more of a compliment than an offense. It’s like seeing a curly hair girl wearing straight hear wig. Should White people take offense with all the wigs and perms Black women wear ?

Advice

well since you have never seen a black person with straight hair please Google Srilankan people, also; f your interesting in learning try looking up black people born with blonde hair. they are also in this world.

Advice

Anyone can wear any hairstyle lmao, in fact maybe if more whites wore “black” hairstyles we wouldn’t get so much stigma ourselves.

Look at it the other way. Is it cultural appropriation for a black person to cream/straighten their hair? Is it appropriation to put in straight hair extensions? Is it appropriation when a black person bleaches or dyes their hair a color only white people usually have, like blond or red? No it’s not, so I don’t think it’s fair to apply appropriation the other way around either.

In any case a white person wearing deadlocks probably has actual appreciation for the culture they think dreadlocks come from, so they’d be the last set of people I’d worry about

Advice

That’s very interesting, to reverse it that way, and it does sound ridiculous. I know a local older white lady that has very challenging very curly hair. She found the dread lock hair style in her middle age and it was a god send for her, as she was going crazy trying to manage her hair. She actually looks great as well, matches her style.

Advice

White people with dreads is offensive unless they are practicing Rastafarians. Also most type of white hair isn’t able to lock properly and it just looks nasty and unkempt.If they want the dread locks look, try sister locks.

Advice

The earliest depictions of dreads trace back to ancient Greeks and Minoans. Its not something anyone can really claim too start though , ancient civilizations around the world all had people who wore dreads.

Advice

Originally, Dreadlocks come of of Scripture; a vow of a Nazerite… Numbers 6/6. It wasn’t a style, it was a vow… this vow is taken by many people all over the world, and has been taken since Moses walked the planet.

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