LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – It’s been seen all over the country, people fighting for racial equality and demanding social justice. One Lincoln mother says she’s doing that, especially after her daughter experienced racism at just 11 years old.
Haley Houston is a White woman, her husband is a Black man. Together, the two have five kids: two boys and three girls.
A few days ago, their oldest daughter, Suriyah, decided she wanted to wear her natural, curly hair to school. Suriyah told her mom she was nervous and afraid she’d be made fun of, but did it anyway.
Suriyah came home that evening and told her mom she was put down and teased for wearing her curly hair. Suriyah let her mom know that some kids said she looked like she was electrocuted and her hair should be worn straight, adding that some kids even asked why she was wearing an Afro.
At only 11 years old, Suriyah said she didn’t quite understand why kids were judging her because of her hair. That night, Houston sat down and had a talk with her daughter, explaining that she’d experienced racism.
“These young children are growing up feeling that they’re inferior, that their hair is ugly, that they don’t fit in, that they need to wear their hair a certain type of way. I just feel like it’s very sad,” Houston shared with 10/11.
Houston says she encouraged Suriyah to stick up for herself and her hair. After contacting Suriyah’s school, the situation was handled for the most part, but, this is just one example of why this mom says she won’t stop fighting for racial equality.
Houston tells 10/11 she’s in full support of proposed bills like LB-1060, stopping hair discrimination from happening. She says she wants better for her children, and ultimately, she wants change.
It’s also been two weeks since a picture of a white pick-up truck with a racial slur written on the back in Lincoln first popped up on social media. Houston says because of incidents like this, she fears for her children’s lives.
When protests demanding social justice were taking place in Lincoln, Houston knew she wanted her kids to attend. Weeks later, when the viral post of the truck with a racial slur written on it was floating around, Houston says she didn’t even allow her kids to go outside that night, scared of what could have happened.
Houston says she felt like it was important for her kids to stand up for what’s right. When deciding to take her kids to social justice protests, her husband was hesitant at first, but he also knew his kids needed to witness change happening.
“For them to be able to go to a rally and see all the people that stand behind them, that they are important, that they do matter, than they are loved. There are people trying to fix things,” Houston tells 10/11.
Because some of her children have already experienced racism, she says her family’s fight for social justice and equality won’t stop.
Houston says she hopes after hearing her family’s story, others will join in on the fight for racial equality and educate their children, too.
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