Don't Touch My Hair (Hardback)
  • Don't Touch My Hair (Hardback)
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Don't Touch My Hair (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 02/05/2019
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'Groundbreaking' Guardian

Straightened. Stigmatised. 'Tamed'. Celebrated. Erased. Managed. Appropriated. Forever misunderstood. Black hair is never 'just hair'.

This book is about why black hair matters.

Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today's Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at everything from hair capitalists like Madam C.J. Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, from women's solidarity and friendship to 'black people time', 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
ISBN: 9780241308349
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 377 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Both a richly researched cultural history and a voyage to empowerment. -- Colin Grant * Guardian *
A triumph! Refeshingly accessible, enlightening and thorough ... an impeccably researched journey into our Black Hair and the ideas and feelings that have surrounded it, to this day. -- Yrsa Daley-Ward
Sensational * Women's Health *
Pulled together with meticulous research, Don't Touch My Hair is an unmissable read by a writer who's set to become a household name -- Francesca Brown * Stylist *
The first book from one of Ireland's brightest literary talents, Don't Touch My Hair brilliantly deconstructs western views of everything from beauty to social value systems, and even to our understanding of time, all through the lens of how African cultures value hair. * Hotpress *
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 -- Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff * Guardian *
An excellent and far reaching book...a call to arms for black African culture * Irish Times *
Dabiri's brilliant book recognises that black hair - particularly women's hair - is charged with social and racial significance * Tank *
A powerful and arrestingly relatable account of the rich history of Afro hair that seamlessly interweaves her personal perspective with meticulously researched historical facts * Metro *
A Rising Star of 2019 * Observer *
A Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2019 * Stylist *
A future face of literature * i-D *

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“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

Hardback edition
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