GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - A back to school hairstyle can be a big deal to kids, especially little girls. Your look can say a lot, after all. Do you wear your hair in a ponytail or pigtails? Curly or straight?
For seven-year-old Concetta Kerr, it was an easy choice. She wanted to wear her hair like her best friend so they could be twins at school.
“Mommy, mommy I want it in braids,” Concetta told her mother, Brigette Kerr, after school.
Concetta is white. Her best friend is African American. The two girls have been best friends since kindergarten, said Kerr.
Kerr said at first, she told her daughter she didn’t have time to style her hair with narrow, neat braids. What Kerr didn’t tell her little girl, was that she was afraid to.
“My first reaction for her was she was going to get picked on,” said Kerr.
The Gonzales mother explained that she has friends who were met with criticism or bullying for embracing other cultures. She didn’t want her daughter, who she said loves everyone, to have such a harsh experience at such a young age.
Then came a special sermon at church, said Kerr. With racial tensions flaring across the country, Kerr said her minister spoke about intentional and unintentional racism. She said intentional racism is easy to see, but the small things that a person may do or not do can create unintentional racism. Kerr said she realized her fear over how her daughter could be treated could be unintentional racism.
“Was MY fear of my daughter being stereotyped a form of UNintentional racism?! I WAS CONVICTED! How dare I push MY fear, my UNintentional racism, onto my daughter who sees no color, no stereotype, no hate, no “white girl hairstyle” or “black girl hairstyle”? She only sees pretty hair on her best friend. She shows love to ALL people without hesitation,” Kerr wrote later on Facebook.
The next school day, Kerr did her best to braid her daughter’s hair like her best friend. Both girls were ecstatic and Kerr said they spent all day telling everyone they were twins and posing for photos.
Kerr shared pictures of the girls and their matching hair styles on Facebook with a post that’s getting a lot of attention. She said, considering all that’s going on in the world, she wanted to share what kids seem to know naturally.
“It's amazing to see with kids that little that they don't see skin color. It's amazing what they can teach us,” said Kerr.
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