History Of African American Hair And African Americans Essay

1478 Words Apr 27th, 2016 null Page
“Take the kinks out of your mind instead of your hair.” This is a quote from the infamous Marcus Garvey. African-American, or Black, hair is very diverse. It ranges from extremely thin and straight, to extremely thick and curly. Throughout history, black hair has been seen as a blessing and a curse. Hair in previous and modern times is seen as a sign of beauty and strength, but this was not always the case. Problems with identity and the struggle to conform caused many African-Americans to be ashamed of what they were born with. Even today, evidence of these insecurities is still present. This composition will examine how the politics, history and economics have changed over time. Also, this paper will educate others about the history of African-American hair and its importance to African diaspora.
The story of hair begins where everything began- in Africa. Black hair served as a symbol of religion, social status, and culture. The most common misconception of black hair is that it is superficial. Black hair is very significant. One of the first things the slave traders did to their new cargo was shave their heads. Slave masters understood the subconscious effects that hair holds. Given the importance of the hair; a shaved head can be interpreted as stripping away someone’s identity. This is considered an unspeakable crime in many tribes. During slavery times slaves with lighter skin and straighter hair were worth more at auctions. This led many to believe that the slaves…

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