Video Of A Black Student Giving His White Professor A Durag Sparked A Positive Discussion On Educating People About Different Cultures

(Photo: Dylan Romero) Permission given to Kirsten Birmingham by Dylan Romero via email.

Video Of A Black Student Giving His White Professor A Durag Sparked A Positive Discussion On Educating People About Different Cultures

"I love how he was willing to learn and wear it and didn’t say anything offensive."

Published December 8, 2017

As the conversation surrounding cultural appropriation continues to be dissected and discussed, one Black student in Florida has shared a video which has shown many people how to take an interest in another culture without offending anyone. 

Dylan Alex Romero is a student at the University of Tampa, where his class recently had a discussion on how different cultures are represented in everyday life. During the lesson, Romero's professor Doug Engelman, asked the 18-year-old about wearing a durag. 

"He notices I wear a durag to every class everyday," Romero told BET News. "So he asked 'Dylan, do you wear that durag because of your culture?' I told him 'Na, it’s my lifestyle.'"

Romero then had the idea to gift his professor with a durag. 

"'If I get you a durag, would you want to live the same lifestyle?'" Romero asked Engelman. "He says, 'I would love to so I’m going to hold you on that.'"

  1. Weeks later, Romero brought in several durags for his professor and the entire moment was captured on camera

    "He inspired me to share each others interest and cultures and to always be open-minded when it comes to things like that," Romero said about why he decided to bring in the durags. 

  2. Upon seeing the video, many people appreciated how the professor took time to learn without being disrespectful

    Romero believes the video received such positive reactions because it is showing how open mindedness can be the key to bridging the gap. 

    "No matter what race, all cultures can be shared with a open mind and that’s what we showed in the video," Romero told BET News. "Professor Engelman is like a father to me in the classroom, so it was only right to show him love with his own durag to give him a little of my lifestyle as he talked about his to the sociology class."

  3. The viral clip received over 50,000 retweets and most people were positively affected by the touching moment

    "I hope people [learn] that just one small gesture can create a big movement, just keep a[n] open mind and always be willing to put a smile on anyone’s face," Romero told BET News.

    Romero also revealed that Professor Engelman plans to wear the durag again on the last day of school. 

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Dylan Romero)

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