Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America

Paperback(First Edition)

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Overview

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd, Lori Tharps, Lori L. Tharps

Two world wars, the Civil Rights movement, and a Jheri curl later, Blacks in America continue to have a complex and convoluted relationship with their hair. From the antebellum practice of shaving the head in an attempt to pass as a "free" person to the 1998 uproar over a White third-grade teacher's reading of the book Nappy Hair, the issues surrounding Black hair linger as we enter the twenty-first century.

Tying the personal to the political and the popular, Hair Story takes a chronological look at the culture behind the ever-changing state of Black hair-from fifteenth century Africa to the present-day United States. Hair Story is the book that Black Americans can use as a benchmark for tracing a unique aspect of their history and that people of all races will celebrate as the reference guide for understanding Black hair.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312283223
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/28/2002
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Ayan D. Byrd holds a bachelors degree in political science from Barnard College. Her work has appeared in Vibe, Rolling Stone, Honey, and InStyle magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Lori L. Tharps attended Smith College and received a Masters Degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. She is currently a correspondent for Entertainment Weekly magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First off, it is not a book on how to maintain black hair, it's on the history of why we started doing the things to our hair that we do. I wear my hair natural and I was looking for books about black hair, mainly how to care for natural hair. One of the authors of one of the books I read recommended this book. I am glad that I got it. It really opened my eyes about the history of my hair. To me this book gave me a better idea on black history than a class I took. I would recommend this book for any class on African-american studies, yet the whole book is all about black hair. From how it was worn in Africa, when and why some slaves wore scarfs, to when and why black women started relaxing their hair. It's not a book bashing other races or trying to make radical racial statements it just a book on our hair. I could not put it down once I started reading it. I felt like a part of my own history I never knew about was open up to me. One of the main things I learned from this book is that, the black race started straightening/relaxing their hair after slavery ended so they would be more excepted into white society. They saw how even during slavery the mixed blacks with the loose curly hair were treated better. And from there it has just basically become our way of life. So for those of you who wear your hair natural get this book it's very encouraging just for the 'whys' on how natural hair is looked upon as bad by some. If your hair is relaxed then it's just good to know the history of our hair.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never knew there was so much social and cultural history behind Black Hair. I found this book both fascinating and entertaining. If you have any interest in understanding this complex country a little better, you need to read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Informative as it is inspirational, "Hair Story" thought me many things that I didn't know about my own hair.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in a few hours! As a 33 year old black woman, I didn't think there was anything more I could learn about my own hair. Boy, was I wrong! This book provided the perfect blend of history and current relevance. I am recommending to all of my friends 'black & white' so that they can get their questions answered too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book truly unvails the amazing power, politics, symbolism, and culturalism in black hair. From the economics how earlier ads went from insulting (when owned by white manufacturers) to having to contain African Names in order to sell (after Black Power movement), to how Afro's put many black barbers out of business initially-to breaking down whether or not hair is ever really worn 'natural.' Whether your a reader, an academian, researcher, or just plain curious...your money will be well spent here.