So by now, you may have heard of Hampton University’s MBA Program’s ban on cornrows and locks, a controversial ban that got national attention this past week even though it has actually been in place since 2001.


So, male students in Hampton’s MBA program are not allowed to wear cornrows or locks to class.


Yep… Hampton University has an MBA Lock-Out.


The dean of the business school, Sid Credle, believes this policy has been very helpful in placing students in corporate jobs, citing an almost perfect job placement rate of 99%.


Obviously, many students and others look at it differently and some have spoken out publicly against the ban, which they feel stifles their freedom of expression.


On one side, Dean Credle wants his students to succeed professionally and he’s trying to minimize any chances that corporations will not hire the talented young African American business students Hampton produces.


He’s saying students should ‘dress the part’ on the road to success … I certainly don’t doubt Dean Credle is looking out for what he believes are the best interests of his students and his schoo.


But on the other side, we have to be careful what type of messages we’re sending these students and black youth in general when we tell them it’s a good thing to conform to majority cultural norms in a country that has forced us to conform for more than 400 years because if every one of us had conformed, we would likely still be in chains.


Not to mention it is certainly not true, as Credle argued, that braids and locks are not part of African American history because Charles Drew, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King didn’t wear them.


C’mon now, Dean… With all due respect you undermine your argument when you put unnecessary statements out there like that.


Braids and locks are natural cultural expressions of African, Afro-Caribbean and African American life and we should celebrate them!


Whether a student wears braids in school is not really the point… If they decide to wear them to an interview where an employer may not hire the student, well…. that’s the student’s decision…


Let’s remember that an important part of life for students is decision-making and lessons learned… I would think the university certainly has an obligation to make students aware of the implications and possible consequences of their choices and actions.


Yes, prepare them for the often unfair realities they will face but, ultimately, these young adults should decide and learn for themselves.


But I could be wrong so let’s hear from you… Text us at 64-64-64 to weigh in on: Should an historically black college ban its students from wearing hairstyles IN CLASS that it believes may limit their success in corporate America?


I’ll close with these words that remind us of the downside of a society in which conformity becomes the norm:


“You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note.”


Also On Black America Web:

10 thoughts on “MBA Lockout

  1. Chris40 on said:

    I heard about this ban in 2001 and I thought it was squashed!!!! All this is this dude Sid Credle is trying to get Black students into White corporate america and those students gotta fit the part (No dreads, braids or anything else Black oriented) I feel it’s messed up!!!! A Black college allowing this ban!!!. If Black folks had more Black owned businesses, we can be ourselves.

  2. AfricanW
    By no means does the white man have power over me I have knowledge of self and I’m mentally and spiritually in tune with my blackness and African spirit. You will never see me with a white woman some blacks will call that racist, but I call it self preservation. I might not be able to go back physically, but in my mental the chains are gone. But I also realize that I live in a place where my decisions are affected by the docile sleeping masses white and black as it pertains to economics, health care, education, politics, and spirituality. So my choices are based with that knowledge and also my afrocentric spirit. The reason I posted what I did was to show a small view of the fragmented mentality of a lot of blacks in America as it pertains to self. And you are right yesterdays America is fading but not because of a majority of Africans, Latinos, and Asians are changing the map it’s because the European Global economic system is in a free fall collapse not to return. We are only seeing the beginning of the fall out of the subprime mortgage and the Credit Default Swaps both under the title of derivatives. My fear is due to the lack of togetherness of Black Americans and the inability to forge an agenda for self we are going to be as a people devastated by what’s yet to come from the wall st global derivatives market collapse as federal, state, and local municipalities continue to make cut backs on wagers and jobs. It’s amazing to me that through all the pain and suffering in the struggle that Blacks in America have endured that there still is no conscious of oneness. Black unemployment 15% White unemployment 7%. I love you in the struggle. Peace CM
    ps. We have been floating along basking blissfully in the sunny heritage of other peoples! now we will have to pay the price.
    Assimilation was a trick: Did you know the entire senior class at Chicago’s only public all-male, all-African-American high school has been accepted to four-year colleges. At last count, the 107 seniors had earned spots at 72 schools across the nation.

  3. africanwarrior on said:

    America ia diverse and please don’t give the White Man power over you, he no longer controls the world like he use to . Latinos, Africans, Asians and Orientals are starting to become the majority. Yesterday’s America you are correctly describing is quickly fading

  4. I’m Black
    I’m African American
    I’m just American
    I’m colored
    I’m Haitian
    I’m Jamaican
    I’m Nigerian American
    I’m Bahamian
    I’m Afro American
    I’m Bi-Racial
    I’m Human can’t we all just get along
    And the white man says you all are just Ngers
    And I’m African dwelling in the wilderness of the beast North America

  5. africanwarrior on said:

    cornrows and locks,
    have nothing to do with African American heritage or culture, it is rather a fashion statement. Jamaican Rastafarians started all this along side with smoking “Ganja”. Ethiopian Falashas “Black Jews” use dreadlocks etc…
    I am a Nigeria born Americans and don’t see where this is a cultural thing for West Africans like 99% of African Americans are. AA’s are way too sensitive and misguided on this issue, get over it.

  6. davidrhanley on said:

    There are several points being considered here. Hampton, as mentioned in the article has a high placement rate and they want to keep it. They should have the right to place certain restrictions to allow themselves to keep their rate and thus draw contributors and sponsors.

    In a perfect world, we should be able to wear whatever we want. But we are not in a perfect world and there are time we have to present an acceptable image based on where we are going to work. The places that require or look for MBA’s are probably not going to accept applicants that are heavily tattooed or have cornrows and locks. If once you get in you want to challenge the dress code, that is fine. Then whatever is your fate will be on you and it won’t damage Hampton’s placement rate. In the current employment climate companies have too many options to have to confirm to you. You are going to have to confirm to them if you want to get in.

  7. desiresmith1 on said:

    I think that you rite in the fact we should have the rite to express our culture as everyone else does….we should always be proud of our heritage and be respected anywhere

  8. Hampton and other schools must establish a dress code that will help insure a measure of success for their graduates. Whether there are codes for hairstyles, dress codes or any other, students must understand the dictates of the majority culture and conform to them. Black people do not own very many corporations that would allow cultural self-expression and until we do, we must conform with Euro-centric styles. We will never be free to fully express our culture until we control the almighty dollar.

  9. wayland2154 on said:

    I entered a comment on Jeff Johnson’s blog and the subject demands that another comment is made on Ms. Robinson’s blog as well. I look at the many who walk around with a tattoo body and see them working in law offices etc. These are not African American individuals and I notice no comment is being made concerning their ability. I know most of the businesses are owned by people other than African American and we are still struggling to move forward. However when one of us reaches the level of being able to own a large company we do not hold onto it for long (i.e., BET) because business dictates that we need to sell it to become more well off than we were and be placed in a larger tax bracket. As we move through the levels of business we must portray the attitudes and thoughts of the majority race to continue to stride because if not we will not be turned on to business opportunities. So that begs the question when do we step out with our ethic characteristics? The young have forged the path for the old every since we landed in this country. It was Kunta Kinte that was defiant and gave courage to Fiddler. Don’t keep young students from continuing to press for change and recognition of who we are.

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