The Black Hair Movement

Good Essays
The history of black hair has evolved from decade to decade and is still doing so today. No matter the shape, color or form “. . . black hair has long had the power to set trends and reflect societal attitudes” ( Michelle Breyer). The past history of African-Americans has fueled hate within Black women creating a division within their culture. Black women first began to loose their sense of identity around the 14th century when slaves were forced out of their homelands of Africa by the Europeans thus creating the Transatlantic Slave Trade. During this time women were seen embracing their natural tresses with locks and twists, but that seemed to quickly change. In order to fit into this new European standard of beauty women…show more content…
With more women wearing their hair natural, black women have begun to accept their unaltered appearances while redefining their perception of beauty. The natural hair movement has provided a shift in history for black women to free themselves from the oppression of the dominant white society and increase their self-acceptance. This shift in the perception of black hair has allowed black women to appreciate the complexities of their identities, and their pride in being black. Although black women still are often ridiculed for their puffs and locs, many women seem to be invincible to society’s negative connotation to the natural woman’s hair. With this negative perception comes the concept of cultural appropriation because non-black individuals have begun to appropriate themselves with black culture through tanning methods to achieve darker skin and obtaining natural hairstyles such as bantu knots, afros, cornrows, baby hair, and more because society views it as “high fashion.” Hairstyles that have been deeply rooted within African culture are now being deemed as highly attractive because of the white skin color of those who wear them and attempt to mimimic these hairstyles as if they are the original creators. To women of African descent, it is a slap in the face that white women can wear natural styles with no backlash and be praised for creating “new trends” while black women are often ridiculed for their natural hairstyles. According to Michael Omi and Howard Winant, to understand the concept of racial formation we must first look at the cultural resistance, discrimination and prejudices among race that is presented within identity (Omi and Winant 91). For the black woman her race is deeply rooted within her identity, that masks the oppression she has had to