American actress and model Tika Sumpter has reacted to Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s seemingly controversial comments where she concluded that president Obama would not have been elected if the FLOTUS rocked her natural hair.
Sumpter and co-star Parker Sawyers are set to bring the Obamas’ love story to life on the big screen, playing young Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama in the film “Southside With You”
In an August 9th interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News, Ms Adichie says that Mrs Obama could not get away with natural hair because of the negative stereotypes associated with it, adding that the first lady’s natural hair would prevent Barack Obama from being elected president in 2008.
“I’ve often said that if Michelle Obama had natural hair when Barack Obama was running for President, he would not have won because her natural hair would have signified certain things to people. It would signify that she’s some sort of militant, neo-Black Panther, frightening” Adichie explains.
In a recent interview on BET, the 36-year-old The Haves and the Have Nots star who is expecting her first child, was asked about the Nigerian writer’s comment.
“You can have natural hair and still blow it out and it’ll be straight,” she started saying. “I’ve had hair where it looked permed but it wasn’t. It was in my natural state but I just blew it out. I don’t know. I mean… What does that mean?”
Parker chipped in, saying just the fact that they earned their spot in the White House as an African-American family is proof enough that nothing else matters.
“I would say that Barack Hussein Obama… Who thought he could be president?” he said. “Then who thought a Black family would be in the White House anyway? No offense to the author, but I think he still would’ve been elected.”
“I don’t know if I can even answer that question,” Tika added. “I think the character of these two would’ve shined through regardless. Natural hair or not. I don’t really know. I mean, I understand what she’s saying, but I don’t really know about that. That’s a pretty intense statement because you’re basing an outside characteristic on the character of the human being.”
Photo credit: Rolling Stone/Tika Sumpter/Instagram