Bill De Blasio is a New York City public advocate, and the leading candidate for New York City Mayor. Politicially, De Blasio has campaigned to the left of the rest of the Democrat field, and his campaign website focuses on progressive initiatives like changing NY’s unconstitutional “stop and frisk” law, assisting food and income insecure New Yorkers, improving the crumbling transit infrastructure and access to public education.
Many believe that the key to De Blasio’s campaign rise has more to do with his 15-year old son, Dante, who rocks a large and impressive afro. Candidate De Blasio is of Italian descent and married to Chirlane McCray, a black woman. Media attention has swirled around their 15 year old son’s cool and classic hairdo since he was featured in a campaign ad. Dante says that the frenzy around his hair is “still kind of weird” and admits that “A lot of people recognize me … some people want to take photos and I’m really just happy.”
In honor of Dante De Blasio, here are ten other noteworthy afros.
Did I miss anybody??!
Angela Davis and Kathleen Cleaver
Davis and Cleaver are two iconic Black Panther activists who proudly donned their afros, and the empowering political message it implied. Here’s a great video of Kathleen Cleaver from 1968, explaining the beauty and purpose of the afro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VwLpoy0nfng
Unofficially dubbed “The Queen of the Afro”, this list would be incomplete without the beautiful 70’s icon, actress and writer.
Erykah Badu is a singer-songwriter with R&B, Jazz/soul influences. Her website also credits her as a producer, activist and actress but it fails to mention that she is my ex-wife. Other influential afro-ed songstresses include Diana Ross, Jill Scott, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill and many more.
One of GQs “Men of the Year 2010”, Reggie Watts is a comedian and talented musician. Reggie isn’t just funny … I think he’s insane. Oh, and he’s always rocking his huge untamed fro.
Yes, the King of Pop has had several “looks” over his illustrious music career. The young Michael Jackson sported one of the most perfectly round fros with his superstar musical family.
Gamble played professional baseball for 17 years as an outfielder and his popularity can be attributed both to his talents as a hitter and his large hairstyle.
When interviewed, Dante De Blasio actually said that he was inspired to go with the fro, by Huey Freeman. Huey, the brain child of cartoonist and writer Aaron McGruder, is the main protagonist of the comic strip and animated series “The Boondocks”.
Bob Ross made painting cool. I watched him paint thousands of “happy trees” growing up. His serene paintings, subtle life analogies and auburn white-guy afro won’t soon be forgotten.
Dr. West is a prolific author, speaker and public intellectual. Always in black suit and black tie, his salt & pepper beard and afro are as much a part of his legacy as are his best-selling books on race, and his radical critique of the American political system.
?uestlove (pronounced Quest-Love) is part of the legendary Roots Crew, pound-for-pound my favorite hip hop collective.