By Ingrid Banks
Lengthy hair within the 60s, Afros within the early 70s, bobs within the 80s, fuschia within the 90s. Hair is among the first attributes to capture our eye, not just since it displays perceptions of acceptance or unattractiveness, but in addition since it conveys vital political, cultural, and social meanings, rather on the subject of staff id. on condition that mainstream pictures of attractiveness don't privilege darkish dermis and tightly coiled hair, African American women's adventure presents a starkly various viewpoint at the that means of hair in social identity."--National Women's experiences organization magazine "Grab your replica at your neighborhood bookseller and get hip to what your hair is asserting to others just about good looks, tradition and politics. find out about how tradition has a love for coifs, simply because finally, so do you!"—Sophisticate's Black Hair kinds consultant Drawing on interviews with over 50 girls, from youth to seniors, Hair concerns is the 1st booklet at the politics of Black hair to be in response to important, ethnographically knowledgeable examine. concentrating on the standard discussions that Black girls have between themselves and approximately themselves, Ingrid Banks analyzes how speaking approximately hair unearths Black women's rules approximately race, gender, sexuality, good looks, and tool. finally, what emerges is a survey of Black women's recognition inside either their very own groups and mainstream tradition at huge.
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Additional info for Hair Matters: Beauty, Power, and Black Women's Consciousness
She also introduced personal ity and assimilation as an inﬂuence on hair alteration, and debunked the idea that straight hair is quick, simple, and easy. elantra: I agree, but I think it’s very, very subconscious. And I think it also has to do with a personality difference. Like if you want to ﬁt in or if you just don’t care what people think at all. I think it takes a lot of time to straighten hair, a lot of energy to keep it up and everything. I think that if you go through that much, then you’re deﬁnitely trying to do something.
It has to relate to society because it doesn’t relate to you and what’s most convenient for yourself. So I think it is an expression of how you relate to society and where you stand as far as trying to ﬁt in or not liking [natural hair]. Unlike other women who perceive straight hair as easier to manage,3 Elantra argues that hair alteration is related to ﬁtting in, and The Hair “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Black Womanhood that going natural will not gain one entrance into many circles. She also points out that if black women invest so much time and energy in their hair, then their actions can be related to their desire to ﬁt in.
Everyone understood. Everyone had always known that dark-skinned colored girls with “bad,” or kinky, hair were ugly. Everyone had always known that “high-yellow” col ored girls with “good,” or straight, hair were pretty. The rule was simple: The closer to white, the better. ” I did not want to get back. Despite that I was, like most girls on York Street, a few shades “too dark,” I had “good” hair and white facial features. (p. 31) Although Raine discusses hierarchies that exist between “good hair” and “bad hair,” light skin and dark skin, and slaves out in the field and those in the house, her personal experi ences, like Brown’s, demonstrate how these ideas are not im mutable: there are moments, for better or worse, when skin color determines status.