Don't Touch My Hair (Paperback)Emma Dabiri (author)
In viewing black hair as emblematic of the black experience from slavery through to social media, Dabiri’s deftly written history approaches a wide-ranging and complex topic from a startlingly original angle. Unearthing any number of jaw-dropping facts about the uses to which black hair has been put over the centuries, this is a remarkable, educational read.
'Groundbreaking ... a scintillating, intellectual investigation into black women and the very serious business of our hair, as it pertains to race, gender, social codes, tradition, culture, cosmology, maths, politics, philosophy and history' - Bernardine Evaristo
From women's solidarity and friendship to forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian's braids, the scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic.
Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don't Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 191 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 15 mm
'Emma Dabiri's groundbreaking Don't Touch My Hair is a scintillating, intellectual investigation into black women and the very serious business of our hair, as it pertains to race, gender, social codes, tradition, culture, cosmology, maths, politics, philosophy and history, and also the role of hairstyles in pre-colonial Africa' - The Times Literary Supplement
'I've been pleasantly engrossed this autumn in Emma Dabiri's nonfiction debut Don't Touch My Hair. Part memoir, part spiky, thoroughly researched socio-political analysis, it delves deep into the painful realities and history of follicular racism' - Diane Evans, The Observer
'Groundbreaking...Her sources are rich, diverse and sometimes heartbreaking. Some books make us feel seen and for me, that is what Don't Touch My Hair does. I would urge everyone to read it '- The Guardian
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ReviewsView all Sign In To Write A Review
“Important and interesting”
Thank you to PRH and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book!
I mistook this for a memoir (entirely my own fault), so it took a bit of adjustment once I’d realised it is essentially an academic text on the... More
“An important read”
‘Strand by strand, the past is weaved skilfully together with the present’.
As someone with Type 1B blonde hair, Don’t Touch my Hair was an eye-opening and educating read. Emma Dabiri explores a wide range of topics... More
“Yes! This is true.”
It’s not ‘the grass is always greener’. It’s not ‘angry black women’. It’s a simple request for dignity and respect for Black people.
This is a truly excellent book. It gives voice to the racism so many people... More
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