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DeAndre Arnold slays Oscars in locs that got him banned from graduating

The Texas teen was invited to the event by Matthew A. Cherry, director of Hair Love – a film celebrating natural hair

If you missed it, DeAndre Arnold – a high school student from Texas – recently made headlines after his school suspended him and banned him from attending his graduation, simply for wearing locs. 

Unsurprisingly, people were disappointed and outraged at the school’s decision and following Arnold’s appearance on Ellen, he received a $20k scholarship from Alicia Keys. Now, the teenager has made his appearance at the 2020 Oscars, in the same locs that got him banned from graduation.

Invited as a guest of director Matthew A. Cherry – whose film Hair Love won Best Animated Short – Arnold and his mother had their tickets paid for by Cherry, Gabrielle Union, Dwayne Wade, and Dove. “I’m so grateful. I never expected any of this,” Arnold tells Refinery29. “The message of that movie and my message go together so well. I think it’s really amazing how they reached out to me and how we can fight this together.”

Using his new platform to raise awareness around hair discrimination, Arnold and Cherry are advocating for the nationwide passing of The Crown Act – legislation put forward by Californian senator Holly J. Mitchell to stop people of colour being discriminated against for wearing their natural hair in school and the workplace.