As the Malcolm X saying goes, the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman as evidenced recently by the firing of a Black TV news anchor in Mississippi who lost her job after her boss allegedly banned her from wearing her natural hair because they preferred for her to look like a “beauty queen.”
Brittany Noble-Jones took to Medium to detail how she was wrongly terminated after filing complaints against her bosses at WJTV This Morning in Mississippi who told her that her natural hairstyle was“unprofessional and that viewers want to see “a beauty queen.”
An Atlanta news anchor, Francesca Amiker, however, called BS on that narrative by posting a pic on social media flaunting her long locs, celebrating not only her hair but the ability to be free to express herself without the looming threat of losing her job.
“With naturalistas under fire in the news industry, I am PROUDLY representing what many Black woman look like in their every day life … on this anchor desk. Good Morning, Atlanta. Tune in NOW. 💪🏽 Protecting my hair and my peace. #MorningRushATL” @FranTVHost wrote.
With naturalistas under fire in the news industry, I am PROUDLY representing what many Black woman look like in their every day life … on this anchor desk. Good Morning, Atlanta. Tune in NOW. 💪🏽 Protecting my hair and my peace. #MorningRushATL pic.twitter.com/M9NiJpNFDo
— Francesca Amiker (@FranTVHost) January 18, 2019
Her timeline was filled with supportive sentiments.
Absolutely love everything about you, the energy, the freshness, coolness all while being professional. We need a boost, a #MorningRush to get us up and going at 5AM. One station has a guy that make me want to go back to sleep when I wake up and hear him. #KeepUpTheGreatWork
— Jimmy Jam (@JustForInfoOnly) January 18, 2019
— Teacherman (@Yo_Teacherman) January 18, 2019
Thank you my beautiful, NATURAL sister. To thine self always be you!
— Marvin E. Adams (@MarvinEAdams) January 18, 2019
You look marvelous, you go girl love this look on you! 😍 #PRETTYWOMAN
— DAVE (@hoot7767) January 18, 2019
It’s a shame that in this day and time, Black women are still being picked apart for being their natural selves.
Noble-Jones, the former co-anchor for WJTV, was hired by the station after she was named the 2015 Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).
“In the beginning, it was a normal work environment,” Noble-Jones, originally from St. Louis tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But after I volunteered to appear in a company-wide promo in March 2017, my boss told me, ‘People here think you’re into yourself’ but he wouldn’t give me specific examples.”
The 32-year-old said she began noticing that she was being treated differently than her colleagues. Many of her news pitches — timely stories about race relations in Mississippi — were passed over, allegedly because they “are not for all people.”
When Noble-Jones told her boss she was three-months pregnant, she said she felt even more ostracized at work. She wrote on Medium, “After announcing that I was pregnant, I was no longer included in commercials. I felt the need to starve myself to fit in. I now weigh only 108 pounds. I did eat while I was pregnant and while carrying my son and postpartum, I wasn’t allowed to represent the station and my events were given away to another white reporter.”
But after her son was born and Noble-Jones returned from a seven-week maternity leave, she was told that wearing her natural hair would be a problem, according to Yahoo Lifestyle.
In June 2017, Noble-Jones filed a complaint against two supervisors with parent company Nexstar Media Group and says the office atmosphere grew more hostile.
In April 2018, Noble-Jones took her complaints to The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The next month, when Noble-Jones was using accrued sick days to care for her dying grandfather in St. Louis, she claims she was fired. Noble-Jones says her case is currently on hold amid the government shut-down.