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Black Hair in a White World

African American Studies, Costume Society of America, Fashion History, Forthcoming


Black Hair in a White World is a groundbreaking, serious study of the cultural history, perceptions, and increasing acceptance of Black hair in broader American society. Editor Tameka N. Ellington brings together a varied group of scholars who together make an important contribution to ongoing discussions about race, gender, sociology, and self-expression.

The anthology’s essays begins with a close analysis of historical and contemporary books, media, and ads, illustrating both positive and negative responses to Black hair. The second section features contributions from diverse scholars and activists who argue that natural Black hair has often been viewed as a problem that must be solved and criticized by those who find natural Black hair unacceptable, unprofessional, and unattractive. The final essays push back against this narrative and describe the emergence of the natural hair movement, which has advocated for increased mainstream acceptance of Black hair.

Tameka N. Ellington
is a fashion scholar, educator, and expert on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The author of several articles and two books, she is the cocurator of the award-winning exhibition TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair.