'Hair Story' by Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

'Hair Story' by Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, 2 p.m.

Hair Story CoverTwo world wars, the Civil Rights movement, and a Jheri curl later, blacks in America continue to have a complex and convoluted relationship with their hair. From the antebellum practice of shaving the head in an attempt to pass as a "free" person to the 1998 uproar over a White third-grade teacher's reading of the book Nappy Hair, the issues surrounding black hair continue to linger as we enter the 21st century.

Hair Story is a historical and anecdotal exploration of black Americans' tangled hair roots. A chronological look at the culture and politics behind the ever-changing state of black hair from 15th-century Africa to the present-day United States, it ties the personal to the political and the popular.

Hair Story AuthorsMajor figures in the history of black hair are presented, from early hair-care entrepreneurs Annie Turnbo Malone and Madam C. J. Walker to unintended hair heroes like Angela Davis and Bob Marley. Celebrities, stylists and cultural critics weigh in on the burgeoning sociopolitical issues surrounding black hair, from the historically loaded terms "good" and "bad" hair, to black hair in the workplace, to mainstream society's misrepresentation and misunderstanding of kinky locks.

Join us for a lively discussion with the book's authors Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps in the Great Hall. Copies of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America will be available for purchase and signing by the authors. 

Please RSVP and consider purchasing copies of Hair Story in advance of the program.
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This program is made possible thanks to our partnership with The Oracle Group.