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Excerpt from What Happened to the Afro?

In Beauty, book reviews, Health, Writing (all kinds) on August 6, 2016 at 3:00 AM

What Happened to the Afro?
Afro Forever Research Paper

Intro

Transformation
In Loree’s Beauty Shop
hot combs sizzled
against
wet oily scalps
branding
grown woman fantasies
into tender young
heads.
Thick busy afros
became
long glossy black curls
transforming
natural Black queens
into
commercial mahogany princesses (Boyd, 14).

This poem by Julia Boyd from In the Company of My Sisters is tragic, but it happens all the time. Afros and natural hair is transformed into something artificial, “fake boobs, fake hair, men don’t seem to care whether a woman is real or false.” The hair salon is the main site where the transformation happens. This paper accompanies the web-based project Salon Utopia (now defunct) that aimed to transform its clients in a natural way. In the virtual realm, it is not yet possible to do any hairstyles to transform anyone, but the site did aid in transforming the source of where hair comes from, the mind.
The objectives of this paper are many. First, a history around the formation of designing the website Salon Utopia and creating the on-line community will be presented in a journal entry style and essay format where no journal entries were made. This first part will also include information on perceptions of who would be part of the on-line community. Second, the paper will include a sense of the methodology used in creating the website and this paper. Particular attention will be focussed on my role as instigator/participant in Salon Utopia. Third, it will be briefly discussed how a discussion or a news group invites conversation. Fourth, a brief history of hair politics will be included. Fifth, interviews done with five black women in Montreal that are included on the Salon Utopia website will also be included in this paper. Sixth, the outcome of the exploration in creating an on-line community will be presented and examined. And, seventh, but not least, the problems of creating an on-line community will be discussed.

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