Is Black Hair Still Political?

We’ve focused the spotlight during this black history month on Lori L Tharps as she guides us through the question…


Meet Lori. L Tharps, a self-described writer, author, professor, Mother, and Multicultural Maven. She is currently an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University and a freelance writer who is generally interested with stories concerning cultural intersectionality and identity formation.


Her latest book, Kinky Gazpacho, takes on the very concepts she is most passionate about as she navigates the reader through her journey as a black woman traveling and finding love in Spain. It is her memoir that reads as a travel essay and love story. Within this charismatic and heartfelt book, Tharps strikes a chord of the black women’s self-understanding through her experience with hair.


Lori has co-written HAIR STORY: UNTANGLING THE ROOTS OF BLACK HAIR IN AMERICA alongside Ayana D. Byrd. Here’s what she has to say about it!

It’s been eight years since Hair Story’s debut, but the conversation continues about Black hair in America. Is it okay to go natural? Is Black hair still political? Why is nappy a naughty word? Still relevant today, if not more so with a Black first family in the White House, Hair Story contextualizes, demystifies and explains the significance of Black hair in American popular culture. With chapters that cover the history, politics, culture and business of Black hair, Hair Story should be required reading for every American.”

For Tharps, black hair has and continues to influence the American cultural landscape through and around popular trends. Follow her on facebook and her blog My American Melting Pot. Sounds good? Tell us what you think!

Stephanie C ’11

About Misha Baker '10

Hey everyone! I am a junior at HC and have received summer funding to do research on reggae in the Czech Republic. During my time there I will interview various members of the underground reggae scene and blog about my experiences. I also plan to do some travelling around the Czech Republic and will comment on my experiences with Czech society!
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