2020 AAMHS Speaker

Topic:

It's a Big Deal: My Black Hair

Black hair has been classified as “evolutionary genius.” The significance of Black hair is rooted in African culture and a source of pride and identity. Efforts to repress its limitless creativity through dehumanizing practices have led to the ideology that Black hair and Black people are inferior. Black people became repulsed by kinky hair leading to repulsion and degradation of self. Acculturation practices of straightening hair and categorizing black hair as either good or bad have been attempts to “pass” in a dominant culture, in order to gain access to opportunities. Black barbershops and hair salons are safe havens where Black hair has free expressive creativity and members of the Black community can laugh, cry, share struggles, fellowship, and allow restoration to the identity of Black hair.

Shoni Newhouse

Psychotherapist, Helpnet

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