Don’t Touch My Hair was written by Emma Dabiri, an Irish-Nigerian author, media broadcaster and university professor. It was published in 2020 by Penguin Books. This ‘ground-breaking’ book has received praise from notable sources and was shortlisted for the SUNDAY INDEPENDENT NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2019 (the year the hardback edition was published). The American edition is called Twisted: The Tangled History of Black Hair Culture and was published in 2020 by Harper Perennial.
Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Don’t Touch My Hair is a candid discourse about the history and culture, both modern and ancient, of Afro hair. This book was intelligent and challenging. It re-defines the conversation about Afro hair by unearthing an extremely rich history, rooted in ancient African civilisations and confronts the modern racial biases that have conditioned many black people today into hiding the natural texture of their hair.
I loved the dynamics of the writing that was at times highly academic and at other at times casual. It covers various different aspects of afro hair, de-stigmatising the negative connotations synonymous with black hair types from a spiritual, political, philosophical and even mathematical vantage point. The name of this book would suggest a more tailored discussion about the micro-aggressive action of touching a black woman’s hair, completely entitled and without consent, but this book went way way deeper than that and I am so glad it did!
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