Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (Hardcover)

From Publishers Weekly
Whether it’s hip-hop diva Lil’ Kim’s “weave of the week” or activist Angela Davis’s Afro, black hair evinces the power to set trends and define icons. In this entertaining and concise survey, Byrd (a research chief for Vibe) and Tharps (a reporter for Entertainment Weekly) revel in the social, cultural and economic significance of African-American hair from 1400 to the present.

The opening chapter chronicles the rise of the slave trade, revealing intriguing facts about the significance of hair in African culture such as that only royalty donned hats or hairpieces, and recently widowed Wolof women stopped maintaining their hair as a sign of their mourning. The authors contextualize issues familiar to African-Americans while explaining black hair culture to the uninformed, so readers who don’t already know what “the kitchen” refers to (hair at the nape of the neck, usually the “nappiest”) will soon find out. Photos and illustrations are put to effective (more…)

Related content:

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

The Hair Up There

The Taming of Blackness

Chris Rock’s New Documentary Gets to the Root of Good Hair

What a Tangled Web Around Hair We Weave

The Politics of Black Hair Can be Snarly

12 thoughts on “Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (Hardcover)

  1. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    informative and educational, but not a hair guide.
    This book doesn’t explain about the maintenance or management difficulties of African hair. Or how time consuming it is…This book is not a hair guide.

  2. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Every Black Woman Needs to Read This
    I love this book so much. Ayana Byrd really did a thorough job in researching both the psycological and spiritual elements involved in this subject of “Black Hair”…

  3. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Very informative
    If you don’t already know, this book is definitely worth the time that it takes to read. The book goes into detail about the history of Black hair.

  4. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    A beginning…
    This book is great begining for people that are redescovering themselfes aftermaking the decision or are trying to decide wheter go natural or not.

  5. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Must-Read for Black Women Everywhere
    I’ve recently made the decision to go natural and as I did, I pondered, “Why do I have to ‘decide’ to be the way I naturally am?

  6. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent book about black hair and black culture. Would recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about both and how they relate to the “American” ideal.

  7. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    I found my beauty in this book.
    This review is more on a personal note, than an explanation of what the book entails (the other reviews have got that covered!).

  8. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    History behind Balck America’s Hair
    I was pleasantly surprised by this book, it was better than I expected. The history behind black hair is amazing.

  9. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Awesome Read!
    Ladies and Gents, this book is Awesome! Words cannot describe how wonderful and refreshing it is to find a book that describes the history of African American hair!

  10. 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Very Educational Story of the African American Hair
    I purchased this book not knowing what to expect and was very pleasently suprised by the plethora of information available on the history of the african american hair.

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