Black Women´s Hair Throughout History and their Identity Essay

Black Women´s Hair Throughout History and their Identity Essay

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There have been musicals, documentaries, researches, panel discussions and even talk shows about hair, hair qualities and hairstyles, even Oprah Gail Winfrey chose hair for the magazine's September 2013 theme. According to Adlman (2013), Oprah Winfrey in a video interview said,
Women, we have issues with our hair, [Black women's] hair represents the first thing anyone sees of them, or of ourselves, and so we identify with what our hair looks like.
On history of Black hair:
Hair Story by Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps (2002) is an entertaining concise survey that follows a mostly sequential path which begins in Africa and ends in America. It details the roots of black hair care in America, from centuries ago to the modern day, outlining how much hair truly signifies in much of African culture.
“Ever since African civilisations bloomed, hairstyles have been used to indicated a person’s marital status age, religion, ethnic identity, wealth and rank within the community” (2002:3)
The book is not just about history of black hair. It contains quotes and information from a huge wealth of black hair resources, as well as political context of black hair styles and textures and why black hair comes in so many different textures.
On styling of black hair:
In Hair Story (2002), the authors write about some of black hair style, include the West African manner of wearing their hair in braid or wrap to the current and most popular hair styles: weaves, natural hair and chemical hair straightening by black people- a style considered as imitating "white" hairstyles. Byrd and Tharps (2010)
".... the goal of grooming the hair had morphed from the elaborate and symbolic designs of Africa into an imitation of White styles adapted to Black kinks and curls...

... middle of paper ...

... Found a Familiar Feel in a Pat of the Head of State. Available at Retrieved 29/03/2014.
Byrd, A. & Tharps, L. (2001). Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Mercer, K. (1994). Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies. London: Routledge.
Adlman, N. (2013),Oprah Shows Off a Sexy Afro on the Cover of Her Magazine—See the Pic! available at Retrieved 30/03/2014.
Barron, L.(2006) ONTOLOGY in Jupp, V (ed, 2006) The SAGE Dictionary of Social Research Methods
Available at Retrieved on 31/03/2014

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