“We are committed to guarantee the equality and identity of all people” said Marianela Pinales in the campaign video released just yesterday, March 25, by the Ministerio de Educación (Ministry of Education) in the Dominican Republic. The campaign promoted equality for all students, of all hair textures in the Dominican Republic, and it was introduced by Pinales, who is the Director of Gender Equality and Development for the MineRD.
At 5:30 p.m. on the day when the campaign was released, Pinales was fired, according to acclaimed journalist Edith Febles.
“The ad is worth seeing, let’s share it” wrote Febles on a post on Instagram. The video was released during her show.
View this post on Instagram
Triste noticia. La directora de genero del MINERD Marianela Pinales estuvo en @lacosacomoestv esta mañana presentando este anuncio contra la discriminación por pelo, a raíz de la niña excluida por su pelo crespo y esta tarde le notificaron su despido… El anuncio vale la pena ver… compartámoslo. Actualización: Marianela Pinales me comentó que solo recibió una notificación de RRHH a las 5:30 PM y le explicaron que era por órdenes superiores. #LaCosaComoEs #PeloNatural
Febles has also been outspoken about destigmatizing afro-textured hair. If you were on social media yesterday (in the Dominican sphere), you might’ve seen it, as it was celebrated for sharing a positive message about blackness in a country where a growing movement for the celebration of negritud has been fighting for recognition.
As an Afro-Dominicana, seeing the campaign made me feel proud. It was a testament to how far the movement to embrace blackness in the Dominican Republic has come, even as we battle both destigmatizing our blackness while being derided as not black enough.
The video, which featured girls and boys of all ages in school uniforms, celebrated all types of hair, and ended with a message from a young girl who said, “vive tu vida, y suelta mi cabello en banda” (“live your life, and leave my hair alone”).
The message seemed innocent: all hair should be embraced, whether you want to wear your curls, braids, or straigten it. MineRD said that the campaign had nothing to do with the firing of Pinales, but the timing is very *very* suspicious to say the least.
Much like the roots of anti-blackness in the country itself, the people in power seem to stop at no cost to maintain white supremacy. This confirms that even as consciousness grows, the problem is systemic. Still, when visiting Dominican Republic, it is obvious that the movement is growing just by how many women are celebrating their curls. Hopefully the creation of the campaign itself and the overall message to celebrate natural hair, which is reaching the general public, continues to grow enough so that the status quo is shaken at its core.
Amanda Alcántara is the Digital Media Editor at Futuro Media. She tweets from @YoSoy_Amanda.
Que verguenza de gente. Esos Dominicanos ignorantes dan asco.
Great article Amanda. I visited DR in 2015 with natural hair and was amazed to see the number of women that were proud of their NATURAL HAIR and that looked like me. Many of my Dominicans friends here in the USA told me to relax my hair before traveling to DR. I tried my best to make them understand that the way I looked/ my hair is who I am. I also let them know that I was happy with my natural hair & that I embrace my identity. There was much more to the conversation….but that’s enough for today. Congratulations on this article. X Maynard
YO NO CREO QUE SEA LOS CABELLOS MALOS EL PROBLEMA DE LA REPUBLICA DOMINICANA,,, EL PROBLEMA ES QUE LA MAYORIA DE ESOS CABELLOS MALOS QUE VEMOS EN LA REPUBLICA DOMINICANA NO SON DOMINICANOS Y ESE ES EL PROBLEMA QUE SE ESTAN PASANDO COMO DOMINICANOS Y SON HAITIANOS???
Para el/la del comentario de los “cabellos malos”… es decir que el que tenga el pelo “malo” tiene que ser Haitiano? Y ese es el gran problema??
Cuando puedas date una vueltecita por Haiti para que te des cuenta que no todo Haitiano tiene el pelo rizado, crespo o con textura; muchos tambien lo tienen lacio. Que inteligente nos escuchamos eh?
You are right..hatian want to make us believe that black or hair are the problems, so untrue, the problem is the invaders, the illegals hatian
Asi es, en Rep Dominicana, nadie discrimiba a nadie, el problema no es de color ni de cabello, el problema es de ilegales haitianos que estan destruyendo a la Rep Dominicana de todas las formas imaginables
IGUAL que los Dominicanos que escapan para Puerto Rico…entran ILEGALMENTE. Otra cosa, la raza negra domina al dominicano el problema es que no lo quieren aceptar. Los Dominicanos si son racistas contra los negros – creo que la razon es por que es como mirarse al espejo y ver en su reflejo no obvio – lo negro.
I’d love to see Michelle Obama “suelta mi cabello en banda”.
People always want an excuse to say we Dominicans are racist. She was fired for not doing what she was paid to do, which was mainly attend public events to represent the Ministry of Education. She has evidence she attended one in the last 30 days, but there were a bunch more she missed. Of course she won’t mention those. You should be ashamed of yourself for pushing such a hateful agenda that damages our image more than bombs could damage us. I hope you can sleep at night.
¡Tanta ignorancia! ¿Qué?, ser haitiano dominicano con pelo gruezo, o rizado, o lo que sea; lo hace a uno menos humano? El racismo en la Republica Dominicana da vergüenza. Es como un odio a si mismo, nosotros tenemos raices africanas, y sin duda el resto del mundo nos ve tan “negro” como cualquier haitiano.Y eso no lo duden.
Respeto la opinion de los demas; pero pienso que historicamente los Dominicanos tenemos las tres razas, la indigena, la negra y la espa~ola…razon por la cual tenemos variacion en textura de pelo, y color de piel. El problema es el racismo entre los propios Dominicanos, no tiene que ver con los haitianos pero si
la pelea de clase social entre todos. Al nivel de tener dinero no miran el color… como dicen “por la plata baila el mono”.. Solucion respetar , valorar y unificar nuestra cultura…y asi tendremos fuerza unanime para enfrentar lo que pase en nuestro pais.
[…] who wore her Afro-textured hair to a school in the eastern region of the country. Subsequently, the firing of the Ministry of Education’s Director of Gender Equality for creating a video in support of […]
[…] country that is perpetuated by a history of oppression—and by the elite. Just last year, a woman was fired from the country‘s Ministry of Education when she launched a campaign in support of natural afro-textured […]