Does Having Dreadlocks Lead to Racial Profiling? Anthony Mackie Believes It Does

by Samantha Denäe



As racial issues becomes more prevalent in our society, does the way we dress and hairstyles have something to do with how we’re perceived and profiled? Anthony Mackie, star of the new film Black and White, seems to think so.

NecoleBitchie reported that during an interview with “The Grio”, Mackie discussed race and how he thinks dreadlocks is a sign of being a criminal and can cause you to be racially profiled by police. His thoughts were:

“Like my nephew wanted to grow dreadlocks. I’m like fine, I’ll sit you down and I’ll watch The First 48 with you and everybody you see on that show, that’s doing something wrong, they’re black dudes with dreadlocks. So, do you want to be seen as part of the problem or do you want to be an individual?”

“Let’s just say you have locks and you walking down the street. The police pull you over and say you fit the description of somebody. You start yelling and arguing with the cops. Next thing you know you pressed up against the wall going to jail for something you’re not even involved in just because you look like somebody and you don’t know how to handle yourself.”


There have been celebrities who have had successful careers with dreadlocks such as Lenny Kravitz, Sway, Black Eyed Peas member Will i Am, and Cousin Jeff, so is there any truth to Anthony’s statement? Does hair really cause for others to essentially profile us? We know how corporate America feels about African American women and their natural hair but does having dreads really make you a target for being racially profiled?

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