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Posts Tagged ‘Black hair’

The Inkwell – Selection from Upcoming Book Stories in Red and Yellow

In Beauty, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on February 7, 2017 at 3:00 AM
Larenz Tate is the Star of the Movie The Inkwell

Larenz Tate is the Star of the Movie The Inkwell – Photo Courtesy of Starpulse.com

Set in 1976, this movie features the staple afros, braids and other various styles of Black hair at that time. The interesting thing of note is that the family of Drew Tate, the main character in the movie, are depicted as working class and activist.

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A Hair Peace (Broadcast on CBC Montreal)

In Beauty, Culture, Education, Health, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on July 25, 2016 at 3:00 AM

My first hobby was playing hairdresser to my Barbie dolls. I had my childhood in the 1970s and 1980s but I was not much different from Black children in the 1940s who chose White dolls over Black dolls in a landmark study that lead to the desegregation of American schools.

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What Happened to the Afro?

In book reviews, Business, Culture, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Uncategorized on March 1, 2015 at 3:00 AM

What Happened to the Afro?

Here is a commentary radio piece that aired with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. To find out more about this topic, you can also visit my website where a book is on this topic at: http://stores.lulu.com/kakonged.

Malawian Hair Laws

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on August 18, 2014 at 3:00 AM


Abstract

The first female president of Malawi in Southern Africa took office on April 7, 2012 (Wallace, 2012, May 22). Another monumental occurrence on this day is that Joyce Banda, the current female president of Malawi, wears her hair in its natural African texture (Wallace, 2012, May 22). Joyce Banda is displaying a look that is sometimes frowned upon in African culture, as expressed in the laws of the country that are ever-changing. Currently, foreigners who travel to Malawi are now allowed to wear trousers and have long hair unlike before (Laws and Local Etiquette in Malawi, 2011). This article will discuss the changes in laws around appearance in the Southern African country of Malawi, particularly the look of hair that could have a tremendous impact on the entire continent. As recently as early January of 2012, attacks happened on women wearing short skirts and trousers, as well as men who wore their hair too long (Irish Rule of Law Malawi: Pre-trials and Tribulations, 2012, January 26). As of April 7, 2012, when an announcement is made about the death of a Malawian doctor, USA Today notes Hastings Kamuzu Banda who ruled Malawi from 1963 to 1994 and banned short skirts and trousers on women, as well as long hair on men (Doctors: Malawi President has died after heart attack, 2012, April 7).

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Real Life Black Hair Exhibit You Can Touch in NYC’s Union Square

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 8, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Check out this link:

http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/06/real_life_black_hair_exhibit_you_can_touch_in_nycs_time_square.html

The Politics of Black Hair

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on May 20, 2013 at 6:50 PM

The Politics of Black Hair

By Donna Kakonge

OISE/University of Toronto

 

ABSTRACT

 

What is so threatening about natural Black hair? This is something we are still aiming to understand although one of the researchers began the study at Concordia University in Montréal in 1997. The suggestion for studying Black hair came from two naturally Blonde women. We continue to do study in our PhD at OISE/University of Toronto. Back in the mid-1980s, watching Oprah’s bouncing and behaving hair was like a dream come true. We never knew that Black hair could do that. We rushed to a salon, telling them to duplicate the Oprah ‘do on our heads and they did. The bad part is that just like what once happened to Oprah, our hair fell out. We were left with no hair on our heads for a time to duplicate any ‘do. Now we have hair, different from First Lady Michelle Obama, but hair nonetheless. What is so threatening about natural Black hair? Even Michelle Obama must blow dry straight her natural hair to keep her hair so healthy, just like Oprah does.

 

Introduction

 

Nina Simone sings “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair,” however that song is first a traditional folk song potentially coming from Scotland (“Black Is the Colour (Of My True Love’s Hair),” 2013) and actually many of us have once thought our true soul mate was a bald man, even if it was Mr. Clean. But the inside love (that’s all of us) do have Black hair. Learning to love ourselves and our hair, however we choose to protect it, colour it, straighten it, weave it, love it, braid it, lock or dread it and ultimately embracing it, is a never-ending project. We have decided to make it our unofficial focus of study at the graduate and PhD level.

One of the researchers sits with some friends at a Montréal university pub in 1997 talking about what she often does – hair. One of them says to Donna, “why don’t you do research on hair?” Donna thinks she is crazy and that she will not ever find information on the topic. She does. Five pages worthy of a reference list for a master’s thesis done in two years.

As many Black women, and some Black men too, we have gone through quite a hair journey. We started off with our natural hair from birth and sitting between our mothers’ or fathers’ knees to get it combed and braided. We dreaded having our hair combed. This could be the reason why many of us do wear dreads and call them as such with Pride. We know more hair came out on the comb than what was actually on my head with the fine-toothed ones. Those combs are not made for curls boys and girls.

We would wear towels to simulate having White girls’ hair. Now, all we use a towel for is to dry the hair on our heads. We have heard that Whoopi Goldberg used to do this too. Many Black women have. When the Jheri curl became popular in the early 1980s, we begged our mothers or fathers or guardians to let us get “the Michael Jackson look.” Our parent/s, guardian/s allowed us to do so and because we hated going to the hair salon, our hair actually grew because we were barely combing it.

We wore the Jheri curl up until high school until we were introduced to relaxers through media. When we saw Janet Jackson in “The Pleasure Principle” video (“The Pleasure Principle (song),” 2013) with her swinging relaxed hair – we thought our pleasure principle relied on a relaxer.

We have all seen some of the friends we have or had, be successful with relaxers. When you have super curly hair from Mother Africa, this can be hard to achieve. Why should it be achieved? For whom? For what? Why? What is so threatening about natural Black hair? Some Black people’s hair is less super curly and can be straightened easily. This tends to be the case for many African-Americans which could explain why United States First Lady Michelle Obama’s hair does look good. So does super curly African hair.

Books by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner that we find while browsing through A Different Booklist or Accents on Eglinton in Toronto or Knowledge Bookstore in Brampton, Ontario inspire us to start using olive oil, jojoba, aloe vera gel and natural oils on our hair. We oil our hair, eat nutritious foods, exercise and ensure that the beauty of our hair is the crown to the beauty of our outer and the envelope to the beauty of our inner. However, the hair can be permanently locked as you may see with some Rastafarians or people who wear their hair in locks, or dreads, with Pride.

This brings us to today where many African people wear a variety of hairstyles, even the straightened ones, weaved ones, coloured ones, dreaded ones, wigged ones, braided ones, twisted ones and bald ones. Anything and everything goes because we are African people. Strong and proud and our hair does not define us – it is point of artistic expression as it is for all of humankind.

 

Donna Kakonge is an author, teacher and writer, law student and PhD Candidate living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her official website is: www.donnakakonge.com.


 

References

 

Black Is the Colour (Of My True Love’s Hair). (2013). Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Online: Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Is_the_Colour_%28Of_My_True_Love%27s_Hair%29

The Pleasure Principle (song). (2013). Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopaedia. Online: Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pleasure_Principle_%28song%29

A Celebration of Curls [Natural Hair and Eco Beauty Event Toronto]‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on December 2, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Relaxing at Home: Great Hairstyles for Just Hanging Out

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on November 23, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Ever been at home and looking so frightful that you are scared to answer the door even when it is just a neighbour knocking? You can solve this dilemma by making sure you are always looking sharp and smart even when you are relaxing at home. Read the rest of this entry »

Black Hair Online – Making Your Social Network Image Work For You

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on November 22, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Worried about your hairstyle for your Facebook page? Thinking of how good you look to others on LinkedIn or Twitter? Make sure you get the best out of your hairstyle and present the best image you can online. It is important! We live in times where even employers will go online to take a look at you before considering whether or not to give you the job. Read the rest of this entry »

The Master Weaver (originally published with Pride Newsmagazine)

In Beauty, Business, Writing (all kinds) on June 26, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Rose Hibbert and Christos Cox creates magic with Donna Kakonge’s hair

The Master Weaver

Donna Kay’s weave

With her 1992 red and black Volkswagen Jetta, Hibbert drove me up to Hair & Wigs on the Danforth in Toronto to get the 150 per cent real human cuticle hair for the makeover. Her sister Ingrid Hart, who is an actor and had a long-running role on “Train 48,” was seated in the back.

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See ‘Da Kink Again

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on August 23, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Black Hair

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on November 20, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Get a group of Black women together and the conversation usually turns to hair. Read the rest of this entry »

A Hairpiece – My Hair Story

In Beauty, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Music, Writing (all kinds) on October 15, 2009 at 3:51 AM
Donna Kakonge Writes About Her Hair Journey - Photo Courtesy of Stockexpert.com

Donna Kakonge Writes About Her Hair Journey - Photo Courtesy of Stockexpert.com

My first hobby was playing hairdresser to my Barbie dolls. I had my childhood in the 70s and 80s but I was not much different from Black children in the 40s who chose White dolls over Black dolls in a landmark study that lead to the desegregation of American schools. It was not that I liked chocolate skin over the cream of white colour; it really came down to the hair. I wanted straight, long, blonde, brunette or red hair, hair that blew in the wind and that I could toss over my shoulder. And when I could not wish it on my head, I used a towel instead.

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