TV Reporter Treasure Roberts Tweets About Wearing Braids on the Air for the First Time

There is a shamefully long history of — and somehow still-necessary pushback against — Black hair being considered inherently unprofessional. Antiquated employee handbooks still cite certain textures and styles closely associated with Black hair as unacceptable for the workplace, which has resulted in a growing number of states passing hair-centric anti-discrimination laws. But while legislation may make it rightfully illegal to discriminate against locs, afros, and braids, the racist notion that those styles are unbefitting of an office is inexplicably pervasive.

The possibility of encountering such attitudes is taken to a new level when your office involves a camera and a metro-area audience. The added layer of additional visibility that comes with being a TV reporter or anchor comes with an added layer of unwarranted scrutiny, and Treasure Roberts, a journalist with Illinois CBS affiliate WBMD, has experienced this firsthand. In a tweet that has gone viral, she made it clear how she's standing up to obsolete opinions.

On Tuesday, August 4, Roberts tweeted about an important moment in her career and what it symbolizes. "Years ago I was told to take a clip out of my newsreel because I was wearing braids. The news director told me I wouldn’t get a job with braids. I left the clip in and landed a job in the industry. Now, I'm wearing them on-air for the first time. Braids are professional," she wrote in the tweet, which was accompanied by two photos of her smiling on set and looking absolutely stunning in her waist-length braids.

The tweet has been liked more than 100,000 times in less than 48 hours, and the replies are full of support and similar sentiments. "Yes they are (professional) - and yes you are (a professional) - and I love this post for many reasons, one of which is that it will inspire many people and give them courage and confidence - and my best wishes to you as you pursue your dreams - and hi," wrote CBS Sports analyst Amy Trask. BBC presenter Nancy Kacungira shared a photo of herself anchoring a show in braids, tweeting, "We preach the same gospel. Soar on, sis!"

Roberts tells Allure that she's in awe of the response. "I am so happy that I was able to inspire thousands of people nationwide and even some people outside of the US," she says, fondly recalling one reply in which a grandmother said she'd be showing her granddaughter Roberts's words and photos. "Representation is important and I hope that other journalists and Black women, in general, are motivated to be unapologetically themselves."

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Originally Appeared on Allure