“The Stigma of the Durag” Explores the Importance and Misunderstanding of Durags

It’s Just A Durag

It is no secret that the durag, along with bonnets, are considered unprofessional and ghetto, yet at their purest form it’s a way for Black people to protect their hair. Milwaukee filmmaker Justin Goodrum turned his experiences into a film to explore the controversy behind the durag.

Justin Goodrum, creator of the film “The Stigma of the Durag”.

A durag is a close-fitting cloth tied around the top of the head to protect the hair that is commonly seen on a Black man. It is mostly worn at night but people like to wear them throughout the day. There’s so much stigma behind the cloth that most people take them off for professional settings or public outings.

“The Stigma of the Durag” takes on a vox-pop style of filming. Goodrum and his team asked people around Milwaukee the meaning of durags and if they understand the stigma behind it.

Professional and Ready to Start Day

While in college, Goodrum overheard one of his roommates ask another roommate if Goodrum was in a gang because he wore a durag to bed every night. At the time, it shocked Goodrum but he says the media plays a role in the misconception of durags.

Goodrum hopes his film pushes towards the destigmatization of durags.

“If you see me in a durag, don’t associate me with negative things. Just know I’m ready for the day.”

– Justin Goodrum

The short documentary was shot within 12-13 hours and took about two months to edit.

The Stigma of the Durag will premiere at the Milwaukee Film Festival on April 25, 2022. This is Goodrum’s first film to be featured in a festival. It’s also his second official film and his first time submitting one of his films to a festival.

“It feels great that it will be premiering in Milwaukee,” he said. “[Milwaukee] kind of raised me in a sense of the way I walk and talk.”

More Goodrum Films

Goodrum is also working on a horror film that will explore mental illnesses that the Black community doesn’t often talk about.

“Out of the thousands and millions of memories I’ve had as a person, I’m starting to develop those concepts into films in a creative way,” said Goodrum.

Watch the Film

To purchase tickets to view The Stigma of the Durag at the Milwaukee Film Festival 2022, click here.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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