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Twisted: The Tangled History of Black Hair Culture Paperback – June 23, 2020
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From the Publisher
“Poignant and thoroughly researched.” (Parade)
“Compelling and engrossing…. A deft geopolitical and economic meditation....Dabiri blends thorough research with incisive commentary and artful memoir...sure to become the definitive book on the politics, culture, and economics of black hair.” (Kirkus, starred review)
“A complex, layered, and full history of Black hair… Dabiri carefully deconstructs this history without pathologizing the Black hair experience.” (Bitch Magazine)
“Engaging and enlightening… Dabiri introduces readers to the rich, complex cultures and politics of black hair in locations around the world.” (Library Journal, starred review)
“A lively and wide-ranging essay collection… Dabiri explores both her personal story and the larger history with a fierce sense of purpose and an appealing eclecticism.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Written in a style that will both challenge readers and create the sense of joining in a confiding conversation with a friend, Twisted provides a new perspective on a complexly resonant topic.” (Booklist, starred review)
“A triumph! Refreshingly 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)
“Emma Dabiri has written a fantastically interesting and original book which explores black hair through the prism of history, culture, feminism, and philosophy.” (Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other)
“Both a richly researched cultural history and a voyage to empowerment.” (The Guardian)
About the Author
Emma Dabiri is a regular presenter on BBC and contributor for The Guardian. She is a teaching fellow in the Africa department at SOAS and a Visual Sociology PhD researcher at Goldsmiths. Her writing has been published in a number of anthologies, academic journals, and the national press. She lives in London.
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This book has taught me a lot about my own 4c hair and explained a lot of what I have lived through and will continue to experience in my natural hair journey.
This book is incredibly well researched and reads like an academic essay, just in a personal format, so please do not go into this expecting an easy read. I felt like this book was definitely disjointed or didn’t flow well in certain areas because Dabiri immediate point was not made clear from the jump. However, once I understood where Dabiri was going, her points became straight forward to me.
I would be recommending this book to people who want to better understand the history of black hair but gain some additional knowledge while reading.
Black hair had been looked down on in the West for a long time with negative attitudes widespread in the white and black communities. However, over the last 40 some odd years this has changed. In the book, Twisted: The Tangled History of Black Hair Culture, Emma Dabiri through a series of essays talks about not only her own experience of being a half black, half white girl growing up in Ireland at a time when there weren't many black people there but also how she came to love her own hair and the history of styles and attitudes toward black hair. Many black girls will relate to Emma's story of coming to appreciate their natural hair and people of other cultures will do well to read what black hair means to the black community and the wrongs in policing it. The dive into the history of the attitudes about black hair both from the black community and outside of it show where the negative connotations come from and why we should consign them to the trash heap. This book also takes a look at the evolution of the Black hair product industry and the political and social effects of the dialogue about black hair culture and offers some thought-provoking commentary on it. This is an excellent book on the topic of black hair culture and I would recommend that everyone read it.
Rating: 5/5 stars. Would recommend to a friend.