Puff Balls

Puff Balls

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hair History

Hello everyone, I just returned home from a mini-research trip to Washington DC where I had the pleasure of visiting the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian's African Art Museum. I did not have the chance to visit the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum to attend Head's Up, an event on hair and culture (see a Washington Post article about the event here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/arts-post/post/smithsonians-the-will-to-adorn-black-hair-and-cultural-identity/2012/03/02/gIQAHrPUnR_blog.html). Honestly, I didn't learn about it until today (aarrghh, a day too late!).

When reviewing the article, I am struck by the sheer beauty and diversity of hair styles available to those of African descent. I am also struck by the timelessness of the styles. See the similarity between the above two pictures?

As I walked through the exhibits in the African Art Museum, browsed through articles in the Library of Congress and gazed at artistry masked as hairstyles on DC streets, I felt an immense sense of pride. I also felt a deeper connection to history and an appreciation for the way that my hair links me to a great and historical past.

  1. Top picture taken from the Washington Post article.
  2. Bottom picture taken by the author at the Smithsonian's African Art Museum (3/12)

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