Date of Submission

Spring 2015

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Historical Studies

Project Advisor 1

Drew Thompson

Abstract/Artist's Statement


My project traces the evolution of African-American women’s attitudes and perceptions that has culminated in the natural hair phenomena. Through a historical lense, the various political, economic, and social factors that have influenced the way in which African-American women have examined their own hair are highlighted and juxtaposed through literature and beauty shop talk. From the mid-twentieth Century to modern-day a dynamic between self-perception and historical depictions of hair are traced to show the particular relationships black women have had towards their identity through hair itself. The aesthetics of identity will then be approached towards the conception of hair styling both physically and psychologically for African-American women. From a historical analysis of the changes in the styling of African-American Women’s hair, in particular the historical shifts present in the Black Power movement and then the natural hair movement, we may also detail accompanying shifts in perceptions of identity against conceptions of beauty.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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