I love Giuliana Rancic. I think she’s fun, she has an amazing journey to attaining the success she has today and she’s truly inspiring. I say this all to say that I was a little taken aback by her recent comments towards actress Zendaya. “Patchouli and weed”? Is that how black women who choose to wear their hair in ethnic styles are viewed by non-blacks? I can’t assume that her stereotypical comments are the beliefs of every non-black person, so I wont go there, but I was very impressed by Zendaya’s comeback. She took the high road and I know it’s always the people that take risks, who set the standard for future styles and fads (first they talk about you-then they copy you) so I am definitely not an advocate for the public scrutiny that Giuliana’s comments has exposed her to but I am not surprised. I know the importance of hair to black women and men. I’ve learned this even more so while reading “Hair Story: Untangling The Roots of Black Hair in America” by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps
Since our days in Africa, hair to blacks is our pride and form of expression. When we came over here on slave ships, one of the many ways we were dehumanized was by being denied the right and resources to groom ourselves, specifically our hair. As slaves in America, we had to find resources to maintain our tresses. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to carry on with the eccentric styles and braids that we wore in Africa. Some of our ancestors settled with plaits or a head tie. As times changed so did our hair. After slavery we wanted to fit in so figuring out ways to keep our hair straight was important to us. Once we realized a revolution was on a rise in the 60s and 70s we took pride in our kinks and started wearing it natural, no longer wanting to assimilate; we allowed our hair to send a message to the masses and it did. Black men and women take pride in their hair and this book, is one of my must reads. It allows you to go on a hair journey that doesn’t end with the last page of this book because our hair is constantly evolving.
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