Politics of Black Women's Hair by Althea Prince
Dr. Althea Prince follows up her earlier collection of essays (Being Black) on Black cultural life with this important new collection. This book sensitively charts Black women's journeys with their hair: how it is perceived, judged, and graded on the yardstick of mainstream society's standards of beauty. Relying on the tradition of the personal essay, and conversations with several Black women, Prince delves into "the politics of Black women's hair," specifically examining the impact on the emotional lives of Black girls and women. Incorporating her own voice as a mother and a sociologist, and memories of her own childhood experiences with her hair, Prince provides an understanding of how some Black women use rituals surrounding hair to create positive bonds with their daughters. She suggests that something beautiful can be nourished in the realm of Spirit between a woman and her daughter when they sit in quiet to attend to hair combing and hair grooming. Including interviews with women from Canada, the Caribbean, England, the United States of America, and South America, Dr. Prince brings an international perspective to this very personal subject.