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The Insider: Exploring the politics of black hair

April 18, 2013 9:00 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin
aduples@tulane.edu

Long before the 1960s when a hairstyle known as the Afro was worn as a symbol of one’s political ideology, African American hair has been intriguing to cultures outside its own. On Sunday (April 21) from 4 until 6 p.m., the African American Women’s Society at Tulane will host its 4th annual Hair Affair on the uptown campus to celebrate the beauty and style of black hair today.

Hair Affair

Members Asia Anderson and Sophie Gavin stand ready to accept donations at last year's Hair Affair. (Photo from the African American Women's Society)


“Our annual Hair Affair aims to further educate African American women about healthy hair habits and modern trends,” says AAWS president, Chinonso Emetuche. “This event explores the deep-rooted elements of hairstyling that relate to the identity of the African American woman over the course of time.”

In recent years, ethnic hair has become highly trafficked territory for scholars, the hair care industry and for black women in search of the best ways to maintain healthy hair when shelved products are not formulated with their texture in mind.

The Hair Affair serves to address those questions through on-site consultations with hair stylists and a discussion on “Understanding Slavery’s Legacy and the Politics of Hair,” led by Teresa Ann Willis, author of Like a Tree Without Roots.

In addition to the consultations and discussion, there will be raffles for hair care products and free gift bags for the first 100 guests.

Candace Ross, sophomore representative for AAWS, says the Hair Affair is also a charity event. Proceeds from raffle ticket sales and cash donations will benefit Raintree Children and Family Services, a nonprofit that assists vulnerable families and at-risk children in the New Orleans area.

“April is Child Abuse Prevention Month so we wanted to do something for that cause,” says Ross. “We investigated and found Raintree, which is an amazing organization helping children right here in New Orleans.”

The event takes place at Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II in room 1111. Admission is free to the public and monetary donations for Raintree would be appreciated. Email Candace Ross for more information.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu