Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture, and African American Women

Front Cover
Rutgers University Press, 1996 - Health & Fitness - 160 pages
We all know there is a politics of skin color, but is there a politics of hair?In this book, Noliwe Rooks explores the history and politics of hair and beauty culture in African American communities from the nineteenth century to the 1990s. She discusses the ways in which African American women have located themselves in their own families, communities, and national culture through beauty advertisements, treatments, and styles. Bringing the story into today's beauty shop, listening to other women talk about braids, Afros, straighteners, and what they mean today to grandmothers, mothers, sisters, friends, and boyfriends, she also talks about her own family and has fun along the way. Hair Raising is that rare sort of book that manages both to entertain and to illuminate its subject.


Beauty Race and Black Pride
Advertising Contradictions
Broadening Representational Boundaries
Gender Hair and African American
In Search of Connections

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About the author (1996)

Noliwe M. Rooks is an assistant professor of English and the coordinator of African American Studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She was the associate editor of Paris Connections: African American Artists in Paris, winner of a 1993 American Book Award.