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Most Scrutinized Political Haircut


For as long as he’s been on the City Council, Jumaane Williams, who represents East Flatbush, Flatbush, and Midwood, has been associated with his shoulder-length dreadlocks. “It’s cultural and spiritual,” Williams told in 2014. “I made a conscious decision as I was entering the work world to not change…I’m just very proud of my culture, whether it’s from Africa, from the Caribbean. I’m also a very big hip-hop head, a hip-hop fan, and I’m very proud of being a black American. And my hair is something I’m also very proud of.” So when Williams returned to the council chambers this spring from a brief absence for hernia surgery with his locks shorn, the City Hall gossip hothouse churned with curiosity: What did this momentous shift signify? Had Williams sold out? Was he, as NY1’s Dean Meminger asked him, perhaps contemplating a run for mayor? Nothing of the sort, insisted Williams. “If I was going to push for higher office, I would have loved to do it with the locks,” he said. Turns out there was an even higher consideration: “I had some thinning going on here, so that was a little rough.”