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Washington Square Press

Tenderheaded: A Comb-Bending Collection of Hair Stories

Tenderheaded: A Comb-Bending Collection of Hair Stories

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In this "outstanding volume" (Boston Herald) that "ought to be at the top of everyone's must-read list" (Essence), Black women and men evocatively explore what could make a smart woman ignore doctor's orders; what could get a hardworking employee fired from her job; what could get a black woman in hot water with her white boyfriend? In a word: hair.

In a society where beauty standards can be difficult if not downright unobtainable for many Black women, the issue of hair is a major one. Now, in this evocative and fascinating collection of essays, poems, excerpts, and more, Tenderheaded speaks to the personal, political, and cultural meaning of Black hair.

From A'​Leila Perry Bundles, the great-granddaughter of hair care pioneer Madam C.J. Walker celebrating her ancestor's legacy, to an art historian exploring the moving ways in which Black hair has been used to express Yoruba spirituality, to renowned activist Angela Davis questioning how her message of revolution got reduced to a hairstyle, Tenderheaded is as rich and diverse as the children of the African diaspora.

With works from authors including Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, bell hooks, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and more, this "remarkable array of writings and images" (Publishers Weekly) will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

Author: Juliette Harris
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Published: 01/01/2002
Pages: 320
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.22lbs
Size: 9.22h x 6.46w x 0.85d
ISBN: 9780671047566

Review Citation(s):
Black Issues Book Review 03/01/2002 pg. 37

About the Author
Pamela Johnson, a former Senior Editor of Essence magazine and now a frequent contributor, is a graduate of Stanford University.​

Juliette Harris is the editor of International Review of African American Art (IRAAA), which is published by Hampton University Museum in Virginia. She is the editor of In the Memory of Frances, Zora and Lorraine: Essays and Interviews on Black Women. Her prize-winning plays and TV productions include JUBA, the PBS series on African folklore. She has an MA in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, an MS in TV from Syracuse University, and a BA in history from Virginia Union University.

Ntozake Shange (1948-2018) was a poet, novelist, playwright, and performer. She wrote the Broadway-produced and Obie Award-winning for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, as well as numerous works of fiction, including Sassafras, Cypress & Indigo; Betsey Brown; and Lilian.
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