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Ellen DeGeneres & Alicia Keys Award Scholarship To Brave Texas Teen DeAndre Arnold

Ellen Show
By Monique Loveless

DeAndre Arnold, if you didn’t know him before you probably do now. As the Texas high schooler was on Ellen’s Show and received a $20k scholarship from Degeneres herself and singer Alicia Keys.

Arnold, an 18-year-old high school attendee at Mont Belvieu, Texas was given an ultimatum: Cut his locs or be suspended and barred from walking at his graduation ceremony.

DeAndre’s mother, Sandy Arnold went to their local media, saying, “After Christmas break, Barber Hill Independent School District changed the dress code referring to hair. Insisting that it must be clean and well-groomed and not extend on male students at any time, below the eyebrows, the ear lobes or the top of a T-shirt collar-including when let down.”

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The teens story went viral with news outlets covering it nationwide, even landing him a segment on DeGeneres’s daytime talk show.

Arnold stated while sitting with Ellen, “Every day I would go to school, I would be in dress code. But the thing with them is, if it was let down [his locs], I would be out of dress code.”

The talk show host asked if there were girls with long hair, Arnold answered, “ There’s plenty of girls with long hair at any school. Like, if girls can have long hair, why can’t I have long hair?”


Bringing Ellen to express what should be known now that we’re in 2020 “I just personally think you should be able to wear your hair however you want, especially if there’s girls with long hair. What’s the difference if girls have long hair and if guys have long hair?”

The young excelling student has been growing his locs since middle school, in light of his dad’s Trinidadian culture as he has clearly expressed in multiple interviews.

“ It’s really important to me because my dad is from Trinidad. I really wish the school would kind of be open to other cultures and just, at least let us try to tell you some things. Don’t just shut us out.”

Ellen Show

After the conversation, Ellen looked into the camera and urged for the school district to change the rules and then called out singer-songwriter, Alicia Keys, who walked out with a check from Shutterfly and let the young man know she was proud of him for standing up for himself.

“I am so happy to surprise you and when I heard this story, I couldn’t believe it." The singer exclaimed in her low, concerning voice, that we all love and admire her for.


She went on to let Arnold know, "I am super proud of you for standing up for what you know is right and I know that the school needs to do the right thing.” Keys said before showing the $20,000 check to Arnold.

Believe it or not, African-American hairstyles are still a controversy even as we progress forward in 2020, so far only 4 states have passed the Crown Act with 20 additional states considering.

Until then help protect this young man by signing the petition so that this young man can celebrate his accomplishments with his peers and so that others who come after him have the same rights.

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