Samantha Chatman is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with ABC7 Chicago.
“Chatman, who grew up in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, joined Chicago’s Number #1 news station in September 2019.”
When I first found out she was embarking on her natural hair journey, I was so excited.
You may have noticed that there aren’t many Black women on TV, who wear their natural hair.
Due to the rarity, I felt it was important to have this discussion.
Embracing natural hair means embracing different hair textures.
Women who choose to go natural avoid things like texturizers and relaxers, which are used to alter curls (making them straight for a longer period of time).
In this episode, Chatman shares details on the challenges and the beautiful lessons.
“Laws have been enacted to combat this race-based discrimination in the workplace and education. The CROWN Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” was first introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2019 and prohibits “the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles including braids, locs, twists, or Bantu knots,” according to Shape Magazine.
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Anna-Lysa Gayle: What has this journey been like for you?
Samantha Chatman: “Journey is definitely an understatement, but it’s probably the best word to describe what this transition has been like. I kind of went into it headfirst (no pun intended) and I did not really know what I was up against, but I learned very very quickly. It has been quite a transition. It has been spiritual, there have been really happy days, there have been tears but overall, I’m very very thankful.”
What was your motivation at first?
I get this question a lot, and essentially, I’ve always wanted to try to wear my natural curls on television. Going back, I’ve worn my natural hair straight, I’ve worn my natural hair even in a bun, but wearing my natural curls is something I never even did off camera really. I might do a one day, randomly conditioning it and then I might go out, go to the grocery store but I’ve never actually worn my natural curls as a style, because I didn’t really know what to do with it.