Jamie Williams

Portrait of a beautiful woman with braids

“Being a brown girl in corporate America has definitely been one of the most interesting and eye-opening experiences. Having worked at my company for a little over three years now, I can think of countless moments where co-workers commented on my curly afro or tried to touch my natural hair in amazement. I recently decided to try out braids as a protective style alternative and was met with more curiosity than I felt comfortable with. One instance, in particular, I was cornered and double-teamed by two co-workers who were perplexed by the metal jewelry that my hairstylist added for a little more ‘edge.’ As one asked questions like, ‘Wow, how long did that take?” the other coworker began to touch the jewelry as if she were trying to take it out. I immediately swatted her hand away and said sternly, “You can look, but do not touch my damn hair.” I think I might have scared them a little because they both looked shocked that I responded with such an attitude. I can’t imagine what made them feel like it was acceptable to corner me to ask questions and touch me like I was on exhibit at a petting zoo.” — Jamie Williams