Don't Touch My Hair (Hardback)Emma Dabiri (author)
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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, The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year
In this powerful book 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.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 IRISH BOOK AWARDS
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 377 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 26 mm
FASCINATING, educational, personal, humble and engaging. I urge you to read it! -- Marian Keyes
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 -- Diana Evans * Observer Books of the Year *
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 *
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 *
Dabiri's brilliant book recognises that black hair - particularly women's hair - is charged with social and racial significance * Tank *
Compelling and engrossing, this book will satisfy readers familiar with the sizzle of the straightening comb as well as those who aren't * Kirkus, starred review *
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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
“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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