Black hairitage Scientific racism of the late nineteenth century made the physique the signal of race. The naming of organic markers which got here to validate European/white superiority and African/black inferiority was central to this science. Subsequent to pores and skin color, hair texture was considered one of the crucial dependable markers of racial heritage. This science of race formed faculties of thought in different disciplines.

Extra particularly, bodily anthropology with its emphasis on racial origins and typologies was key in perpetuating the science of race. South Africa was among the many ‘human laboratories’ for bodily anthropologists. The typologies of hair offered by Gates is however one instance of such practices on the time. He concludes that alongside a continuum “[t]he hair type of the Bush[men] is peppercorn…that of the Hottentots is mostly tufted or matted [while that of] the Bantu varieties [is] woolly” (1957:81). This chapter explores hair as each a cultural assemble and a web site of contestation each inside black communities and between black and white communities. Whereas formalised race science was not central to apartheid, concepts of racial hierarchy are central to South African historical past and experiences. Practices of race classification from the early nineteen fifties by means of to the seventies reveal that when folks have been tough to categorise – ‘borderline circumstances’ – officers relied closely on biology. In such conditions folks have been subjected to exams about their organic ancestry. These included, amongst different issues, examinations of their and their relations’ hair texture, color and size (Horrell:1959). This was immortalised, after all, within the well-known ‘pencil take a look at’ of Apartheid mythology (see SAIRR, 1954/55:36; 1955/56:33). Regardless of challenges to the thought of race as organic decided, Western racisms of their varied mutations make claims concerning the physique: about magnificence and a couple of ugliness, and about sexuality. The politics and violence of this racism function in and thru the physique. This legacy has meant that, typically, white our bodies have been graced with magnificence whereas black our bodies have been relegated to ugliness. To complicate issues extra, South Africa, just like the Caribbean, has a historical past of differential racialisationi of black folks’s our bodies. This heritage has meant that whiteness and ‘levels of whiteness’ have been considered the yardstick of magnificence, morality and social standing. These racial hierarchies and values of colonial racism have left a deep mark on our conceptions of magnificence, defining magnificence in opposition to blackness.

Extra particularly, “black folks’s hair has been traditionally devalued as essentially the most seen stigmata of blackness, second solely to pores and skin” (Mercer, 1994:101). Mercer argues that this advanced physique politics foregrounds hair as a signifier as a result of it may be modified by cultural practices corresponding to straightening (ibid.:103). Certainly, throughout varied black communities in SA, hair straightening, alongside skin-lightening, has lengthy been a part of black cultural politics and observe. Wash, Situation, Straighten, Curl and Swirl Within the 1970s and 1980s, hair texture was important in Port Elizabeth, within the Japanese Cape the place I grew up. For a lot of households from coloured-africanii experiences in South Africa the primary vital query on the beginning of a kid after Is it a boy? stays And the hair? There have been seventeen steps to ‘good-hair’ for me in my teenage years:

1. brush all of your hair forwards in preparation for laundry;

2. wash with shampoo for ‘broken’ hair;

3. rinse totally to do away with the shampoo;

4. towel dry gently;

5. apply conditioner for ‘broken’ hair for the required time (5 to 10 minutes);

6. comb your hair forwards after the conditioner has ‘labored’; use a wide-toothed comb working from the tricks to the roots;

7. straighten your hair each six to eight months (be sure to warn your dad about this course of; mine protested in opposition to the scent of the chemical compounds in the home); straightening entails a further 5 steps which take one hour: a) take away all jewellery and don’t use any steel implements throughout this course of; apply the straightener rigorously working from the roots to the information; wait ten to twenty minutes;
b) gently comb your hair forwards till it’s as straight as you need;
c) totally rinse out the straightener with heat water;
d) apply the neutraliser/cream-fix conditioner; await ten minutes;
e) totally rinse out the neutraliser/cream-fix conditioner;

8. totally rinse out the conditioner;

9. gently towel dry your hair;

10. gently comb your hair, backwards this time, utilizing ‘No Extra Tears, No Extra Tangles’ to assist undo the knots; 3

11. set your hair in curlers – you will have about 1 hour to set lengthy hair;

12. sit beneath the hair-dryer till your hair is totally dry – 1 hour for lengthy hair;

13. take away the curlers and hairpins;

14. brush out the roller marks;

15. swirl your hair to at least one aspect; place a nylon stocking in your head to maintain the swirl in place ( use the leg little bit of a pair of previous washed pantihose and minimize it off simply beneath the gussett to make your self a swirl-stocking (swirl-kous);

16. cowl the stocking with a shawl (‘n doek) (as lower-middle-class colored lady ought to);

17. after just a few hours (about 3) swirl your hair to the opposite aspect and put on the stocking and doek once more. To maintain your hair well-groomed, swirl it each evening on going to sleep. To maintain the swirl in place flip the swirl-stocking tightly round your head, however not too tightly across the brow to keep away from a hoop or mark on the hairline once you get up. Solely now would your hair be ‘carried out’.

Till not too long ago, in most coloured-african communities ‘good hair’ meant smooth/straight hair. In case you have been lucky sufficient to have a shiny mane of straight hair, you both inherited it from one or each your dad and mom, otherwise you spent hours at residence bent over the basin as I did, washing your hair weekly and straightening it half-yearly. Alternatively, relying on whether or not you would afford it, you spent hours on the hair salon every week for a wash, situation, curl and magnificence and nonetheless typically for a relaxer or straightener. The notion of ‘good hair’ and the silences and ache connected to it should not distinctive to coloured-african experiences. Hair texture is a big issue throughout all African communities in SA. Neither is it distinctive to South Africa.

Not so way back ‘good hair’ meant lengthy, shiny and straight hair for many black American ladies. Lisa Jones writes about the necessity to “[keep our] kinks within the closet” (Jones, 1994: 305). This distinction between ‘good hair’ and ‘dangerous hair’ occurs inside black communities throughout the globe. ‘Good hair’ on a black physique typically means hair that’s both lengthy, flowing, straight and appears like white folks’s hair, or no less than not too curly. ‘Unhealthy hair’ is brief and kinky and needs to be ‘made good’. Traditionally hair-straightening was practiced amongst middle-class African ladies on the continent within the early 1960s within the post-independence period (Kelley, 1997; Biaya, 1998).

Hair and hairstyling practices in Africa modified with the rise of recent city cultures for the reason that early twentieth century (Biaya, 1998). In keeping with Biaya, the character of those modifications was formed by whether or not the city or metropolis was a slave buying and selling centre or a colonial metropolis. Slave buying and selling centres and societies created on the premise of the slave commerce, for instance the USA and the Caribbean have been marked by ‘pigmentocracy’, that may be a division of labour and social standing based mostly on a racial hierarchy which ranks shades of blackness. Lighter pores and skin meant greater standing and this was mirrored within the ladies’s hairstyles. Ladies of ‘mixedrace’ who served as courtesans to slave merchants have been thus “forbidden to Four give up to African aesthetics by braiding their hair as unusual native ladies did [and wore] lofty hairstyles” as a substitute (ibid.: 79). Colonial cities, constructed on the foundations of the ‘civilising mission’, promoted a Western aesthetic body. It’s on this context, argues Biaya that colonised Africans started straightening their hair in tandem with metropolis fashions.

He argues that between 1910 and 1935 conventional hairstyles got here to be seen as old style and backward. Postindependence, practices of the brand new African middle-class perpetuated this affiliation of straightened hair with modernity (ibid.: 79 – 82). Going ‘Pure’ In response to racist definitions of magnificence and the devaluation of kroesiii hair, the Black Energy motion of the mid-1960s within the USA turned the tables and proclaimed that Black is Lovely. Kelley (1997) argues that this motion appropriated the 1950s bourgeois high-fashion female coiffure, au naturel, giving it new which means: that of celebrating blackness. On this context the afro turned “essentially the most highly effective image of Black Energy type politics” and, in contrast to every other type, it politicised black hair (Kelley 339,340).

The afro turned an indication of cultural resistance to the oppression of white racism. Additionally known as ‘the pure’, the afro engendered a specific politics of black hair. On this discourse the idea of ‘pure’, kinky hair was equated with blackness and black consciousness. Within the context of the Black Energy period within the USA, the assemble of ‘pure’ black hair was positioned in opposition to straightened black hair. Hair straightening got here to signify (for some) a reactionary observe of identification with whiteness. From the USA Alice Walker (1988) celebrates leaving her hair ‘pure’ and refers to ‘engaged on her hair’ as ‘missionary work’. In related vein, bell hooks condemns hair-straightening as “an imitation” of white folks’s appears typically indicating “internalised racism, self-hatred and/or low shallowness” and as a mirrored image of a “colonised mentality” (1995:81). These concepts have earlier roots. Fanon was among the many first to argue that black folks mimic whiteness, indicating a ‘broken’ black psyche (1967). The ‘Pure’ versus The ‘Created’ Logic One can not deny that hair straightening as a observe has been formed by colonial-racist notions of magnificence. Nevertheless, the notion that straightening one’s hair is a mark of aspiring in the direction of whiteness and that we must always thus abandon it misses the complexity of black cultural observe.

These views decide hairstraightening by way of white racial imagery, invalidating it as black cultural observe. It additionally represents a easy and fictitious binary: black ladies who straighten their hair are reactionary / black ladies who don’t are progressive. This mind-set crudely means that one can learn one other’s politics from their type. Moreover, there’s an underlying essentialism on this logic – the belief that there’s a single, pure and pure black method of sporting one’s hair. In 5 valorising kroes hair as a signifier of blackness, this logic reduces black cultural observe to the physique, and ‘race’ to biology. Black identities stay biologised on this discourse. Trapped in a Eurocentric discourse of racial purity, this argument fosters essentialist articulations of black subjectivities typically manifested within the measuring black authenticity in keeping with hair texture and pores and skin shade. Inside this discourse, black ladies with darkish pores and skin and kroes hair are valued as extra authentically black than their lighter skinned sisters who occur to have straight or considerably straight hair. This argument empowers a brand new form of hair police to test on levels of blackness by way of levels of naturalness for the needs of exclusion.

We study from Weekes (1997) concerning the ache of this exclusion for girls relegated to the boundaries of blackness. For me, the more difficult questions are: Was/is hair-straightening or enjoyable solely about colonial energy? Ought to we burn our straighteners and throw away our hot-combs? On this wrestle in opposition to devalorisation, and for identification and cultural area, Mercer (1994:104) argues that hair retexturing and hairstyling have develop into key websites for the revalorisation of black hair. He challenges the concept that afros and dreadlocks are ‘pure’. He signifies how these types are socially and politically constructed in a particular historic conjuncture as a part of contesting white dominance culturally and politically. These types should not solely socially constructed. Typically hours have been spent engaged on an afro, combing and washing it with particular merchandise. Equally, there are particular merchandise for dreadlocked types.

Mercer (1994) proposes that we see hair-styling for what it’s – a particularly black cultural exercise and observe and a artistic response to experiences of oppression and dispossession. He challenges a purist, essentialist view of hairstraighteners as negating the ‘pure’ great thing about blackness and as representing aspirations towards Eurocentric notions of magnificence. To him hair-straightening doesn’t must be about imitating whiteness and so about being much less black. It’s merely a special technique of expressing blackness – a way of expressing blackness otherwise. From the North American context bell hooks (1995) notes the importance of hair-straightening as a ceremony of passage into black womanhood similtaneously she condemns this observe. Younger black women put on plaits – symbols of innocence, youth and childhood. At a specific age having one’s hair straightened signifies a shift from childhood towards womanhood. Echoing my very own expertise, she writes concerning the Saturday afternoon ritual of hairstraightening as a gendered cultural area of intimacy within the kitchen. An area and time with out meniv.

An area for black ‘woman-talk’ and bonding by means of sharing experiences: For every of us getting our hair pressed in an vital ritual. It’s not an indication of our longing to be white. There should not white folks in our intimate world. It’s a signal of our want to be ladies. It’s a gesture that claims we’re approaching womanhood (ibid.: 80). 6 These arguments assist me perceive my private and ambiguous expertise with hair. On the one hand, once I recall these hair-washing Saturday afternoons when my sister and I ploughed by means of the seventeen steps, I relate a part of these experiences to aspirations of whiteness within the colored group during which I grew up. One was valued extra, seen as neat and nicely stored in case your hair was ‘carried out’. Then again, I relate these afternoons to a really particular, although not distinctive black expertise. When my hair was ‘carried out’ I felt proud and assured. I felt lovely. I didn’t really feel white. And I didn’t look white both. It was a ritual of affirmation for me as a younger black girl. Immediately my hair is neither curled, swirled nor straightened. It’s nonetheless labored on in a roundabout way or one other. Considerably, I’m not extra black than I used to be once I curled and swirled. Equally, Theresa, black and British, says “[a]nd like everybody else I used to need lengthy, flowing hair…

I used to press my hair with a scorching comb, however I by no means actually preferred straight hair, I used to simply ease it out in order that it wasn’t too robust, however not likely straighten it” (Amina Mama, 1995: 115). Hair-straightening in these experiences can also be accompanied with “nuances, inflections and accentuations…which emphasise distinction” along with similarities with whiteness (Mercer, 1994:119). Creolised cultural formations Mercer notes that hair-straightening is a cultural observe which can’t be ‘traced’ for ‘origins’ to “really current” African cultures. He understands this observe, born within the cauldron of diaspora experiences, as a creolised black cultural type situated in First World contexts and involving appropriation of indicators from the ‘grasp’ tradition. Such types and practices incorporate a consciousness of the contradictory situations of cultural appropriations (ibid.:121). Creolised cultural formations are, nonetheless, not restricted to diaspora experiences in First World contexts.

Traditionally such formations are central to colonial encounters in Africa and, within the context of processes of globalisation, creolisation is a part of a broader international situation (Hannerz, 1997a; 1997b; Sprint, 1994; Erlmann, 1997). Moreover, creolisation happens in contexts of inequality: Totally different clusters of meanings and symbolic types, traditionally of various provenance, are distributed alongside a kind of open continuum, stretched out transnationally from centre to periphery. That organisation of tradition is linked to an organisation of energy, status, and materials sources (Hannerz, 1997b:167). Mercer understands black hairstyling right this moment as “vital bricolage” and notes that new hair applied sciences corresponding to enjoyable cremes, gels, dyes have enabled a variety of experimentation. He means that hair-straightening doesn’t imply the identical factor after as earlier than the period of the Afro and Dreadlocks. Black practices of stylization right this moment appear to exude confidence of their enthusiasm for quoting and mixing components from any supply – black or white, previous or current – into new configurations of cultural expression.

Put up-liberated black hairstyling thus emphasises a “minimize ‘n 7 combine” (Hebdige, 1987) method to aesthetic invention, suggesting a special perspective to the previous in its reckoning with (publish)modernity (1994:124, 125) His arguments concerning new black hairstyles result in a way of celebration of black hair no matter we do with it. Hair-straightening is just one amongst many types confidently chosen and/or mixed within the creation of recent ‘minimize ‘n combine’ types. Bricolage doesn’t, nonetheless, essentially indicate an inconsequential placing collectively of heterogeneous cultural bits and items. Nonetheless entangled What and the way we ‘minimize ‘n combine’ continues to make a distinction to new meanings connected to those types in numerous contexts. It’s not enough to know modern black hairstyling as assured ‘minimize ‘n combine’ practices. Within the midst of this confidence there’s at all times an issue. Ambiguity doesn’t disappear with postmodernity as Mercer appears to counsel. Ambiguity and problem proceed to be central to understanding black hairstyling as types of creolisation. Glissant (1992) understands creolisation as a technique of infinite cultural transformation. Central to this course of is the idea of entanglement. He argues that diversion – turning away from the ache and problem of creolised beginnings – must be complemented with reversion – a return to the purpose of entanglement, the purpose of problem (1992:26).

Returning to the second of entanglement comes with an consciousness that a return to ‘roots’ seeking a way of ‘authentic blackness’ and/or ‘authentic black hair’ is inconceivable. It entails reclaiming and residing with fragments of origins and entanglements with whiteness within the course of of making new cultural types and practices which do not need to be coherent and/or full. Whereas the female practices of hair-straightening and hair-styling represent an area of initiation into black womanhood and momentary freedom from its pressures and oppressions, it is usually at all times already an area that exists within the shadow of the colonial encounter, entangled in its painful contradictions: [the] constructive empowering implications of the ritual of hair urgent mediate however don’t change adverse implications. They exist alongside all that’s adverse (hooks, 1995:81). On the college the place I educate, the place a big – if beleaguered – variety of college students are actually black, to put on hair extensions that right this moment epitomise one variant of black city stylishness is to be known as a ‘coconut’ – black on the surface however white on the within. Apparently, a scholar talked about that when she went to high school with extensions in her hair within the 1980s, she was despatched residence as a result of this type was thought of ‘too African’ by her lecturers. As soon as once more, hair carries the ever presence of ‘race’.

Dreadlocks, beforehand considered ‘ungroomed’, seem in additional well mannered types on the sides of right this moment’s mainstream types. Though considerably freed from earlier racialised associations, this type continues to be racially marked. The April 1999 Eight version of Marie-Claire refers to dreadlocks as a pure and African “hair-type” versus a coiffure. The commodification of appears Alongside this ever presence of ‘race’, there’s additionally the commodification of distinction, appears and types which at instances sublimates racial meanings typically making markers of distinction a part of the mainstream. Dreadlocks, till not too long ago a particularly black type, have been appropriated by younger white South Africans within the 1990s typically rendering this racial marker of distinction seemingly unmarked and mainstream. This white musician’s feedback are illustrative: I’ve had dreads for 2 [years]…They don’t have any particular which means for me, however because the band turned extra profitable, it turned a part of the picture… (Artwork Matthews cf Madondo; my emphasis). The commodification of appears and types happens in a context of globalisation. In city Africa right this moment black hairstyles and hairstyling have moved from the kitchen to the road. This shift offers elevated visibility and so lends black hairstyles extra open to appropriation and commodification. Biaya (1998) factors to the hyperlink between globalisation and the expansion of hairdressing salons and style homes in cities like Dakar, Bamako, Abidjan and Kinshasa. Additional South, the Weekly Mail and Gaurdian (Watt, 24/12/96) marked 1996 because the 12 months of the black hair revolution in SA. On the time, Watt reported 20 000 folks working as hairstylists within the black hair business alone.

In 1998, simply two years later, Hughson (1998:25) estimated the variety of black hair salons at round 50 000. This turning level within the black hair business appears to have include the itemizing of Carson Holdings within the pharmaceutical sector of the JSE on Three July, 1996. Carson is a six 12 months previous South African owned subsidiary producing black hair merchandise beneath license from its North American mum or dad Carson Integrated. Hughson (1997:13) notes that the corporate’s exports to East Africa, with a goal client market of 70 million (1998:27) have elevated solidly. Moreover, it appears to have open-armed reception from the West African market the place its manufacturing operations, to be situated in an export processing zone in Accra, Ghana, will take pleasure in ten-years of tax-free enterprise in a market estimated at 200 million within the sub-region (1997:13). The market energy of North American capital in relation to its native counterparts is revealed in its big presence on the African continent and its potential to win taxfree enterprise alternatives. This politics reveals the uneven side of globalisation. One can perceive these international market patterns as examples of the inevitable and overwhelming market energy of the centre over the periphery which suggests a equally overwhelming cultural energy ensuing within the notion of a world village characterised by international sameness. Alternatively, one can recognise that whereas processes of globalisation are imbued with relations of inequality, there are methods during which international influences are formed by native cultural company (Hannerz, 1997b).

9 For Biaya the expansion of hair salons is proof of Africa’s city cultures of magnificence and magnificence which emerge from native data, method and which means, right this moment mixing with cultural components communicated through worldwide media, inter-African and diasporic migrations to the West. One sees the consequences of this transnational movement of cultural meanings and pictures on hairstyling practices in SA right this moment. Dreadlocks are a method whose ‘origins’ can’t be traced to ‘really current’ Africa. But, in South Africa right this moment, struggling to remake its hyperlinks with fellow Africans, this type has come to signify African-ness for each black and white South Africans: dreadlocks are deeply inherent to Africans (Brown Matsime, presenter of Selimathunzi, a youth TV present, cf Madondo, Sunday Life, 18/10/98) I’ve had dreads for practically two years. I like the thought, it’s a pure factor……For me, my dreads are a part of my very own sense of my very own Africanness, and are very important to my identification (Skye Bishop, white mannequin for Elite Mannequin: ibid.) Madondo locations the proliferation of those types within the context of the “Mandela period” and “a new-found mix of sign-of-the-times Afrocentrism and raggamuffin hip-hop commercialism” imported from America (ibid.).

The rising recognition of dreadlocks in post-1994 SA may be understood as a course of signifying a remaking and revalorisation of Africanness by means of the borrowing and localisation of Africentric black American photographs and concepts. This ‘flip to dreadlocks’ may be seen as post-1994, post-liberation cultural formations. These transnational cultural borrowings and recreations counsel native makes use of of and for the worldwide. Conclusion Understanding hair-straightening and extra modern black hairstyling as creolised has a number of implications. Between the ‘return to pure roots’ and Mercer’s ‘postmodern assured minimize `n combine’ there’s a place of problem – a spot at which black hairstyling stays entangled with the politics of its historical past. This place takes one past the blanket assertion that ‘all hair is labored on’. It’s not ok to say that ‘good hair is wholesome hair regardless of the texture and regardless of the ‘minimize ‘n combine’’. There’s by no means a consolation zone for black hairstyles. There’s at all times an issue within the midst of our cultural creations even when the previous is current as a reworked previous. This problem is marked by the fixed overt presence of ‘race’. What Mercer ignores is that black hairstyling within the modern interval, irrespective of how celebratory, assured and postmodern, continues to be mediated by means of racial imagery making ‘race’ “by no means not an element, by no means not in play” (Dyer, 1997).

‘Race’ is at all times current, even when solely as a detour on the best way to new creations. It’s at all times there as a result of whether or not we prefer it or not, we’re nonetheless 10 residing within the shadow of the historical past of colonialism, slavery and genocide, and their cultural and political aftermath. But, this doesn’t indicate that we’re everlasting

ly trapped by ‘race’ and its place in historical past, nor are we trapped by the facility relations of globalisation. Carol Davis says that “right this moment your hair may be unfastened or kroes so long as you are feeling like any person” (Interview my emphasis). Right here she echoes Lisa Jones and Kobena Mercer in her articulation that the revolution will not be in your head, it’s in it. 11 References Books and Journal Articles Biaya, T.Ok. 1998. ‘Hair Statements in City Africa: The Magnificence, The Mystic and The Madman’ in Van der Plas, E. & Willemsen, M. (eds.) The Artwork of African Style.

Eritrea/USA: Africa World Press. Craig, M. 1997. ‘The Decline and Fall of the Conk; or, How you can Learn a Course of’ in Style Concept 1 (4): 399-420. Sprint, M. 1994. ‘Textual Error and Cultural Crossing: A Caribbean Poetics of Creolization’ in Analysis in African Literatures 25 (2): 159-168. Dyer, R. (1997). ‘The matter of whiteness’ in Dyer, R. White. London :Routledge. Erasmus, Z. 1997. ‘Oe! My hare gaan huistoe: hair-styling as black cultural observe’ in Agenda 32: 11-16. Erlmann, V. 1997. ‘Africa Civilized, Africa Uncivilized: Native Tradition, World System and South African Music’ in Barber, Ok. (ed.) Readings in African In style Tradition. Indiana: James Currey. Fanon, F. 1967. Black Skins, White Masks. New York: Grove Press. Gates, R. 1957. ‘Types of Hair in South African Races’ in Man June: 81-83. Glissant, E. 1992. ‘Introductions’ & ‘The Recognized, The Unsure’ in Glissant, E. Caribbean Discourse: Chosen Essays. Virginia: Caraf Books, The College Press of Virginia. Hannerz, U. 1997a. ‘The World in Creolisation’ in Barber, Ok. (ed.) Readings in African In style Tradition. Indiana: James Currey. Hannerz, U. 1997b. ‘Sophiatown: The View from Afar’ in Barber, Ok. (ed.) Readings in African In style Tradition. Indiana: James Currey. 12 Hooks, B. 1995. ‘Straightening our Hair’ in Raimes, A. (ed.) Identities: Readings from Up to date Tradition. Boston, Toronto: Houghton Mifflin Firm. Horrell, M. 1959. Race Classification in South Africa: Its Results on Human Beings.

Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR). Horrell, M. 1954/55, 1955/56, 1967/68. A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa. Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations. Hughson, L. 1998. ‘Mashaba makes it even larger’ & ‘Ethnic is the place it’s at’ in Pharmaceutical and

Beauty Assessment 25 (2): 17-29. Hughson, L. 1997. ‘A Lower Above’ in Pharmaceutical and Beauty Assessment 24 (2): 13-15. Jones, L. 1994. bulletproof diva. New York & London: Doubleday. Kelley, R. 1997. ‘Nap Time: Historicizing the Afro’ in Style Concept 1 (4): 339- 352. Mama, A. 1995. Past the Masks. London: Routledge. Mercer, Ok. 1994. ‘Black Hair/Model Politics’ in Mercer, Ok. Welcome to the Jungle. London: Routledge. Nederveen-Pieterse, J. 1992. ‘Savages, Animals, Heathens, Races’ in Nederveen-Pieterse, J. White on Black: Photos of Africa and Blacks in Western In style Tradition. New Haven & London: Yale College Press. Shell, R. 1994. ‘Introduction’ and ‘The Tower of Babel’ in Kids of Bondage. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand College Press. Walker, A. 1988. ‘Oppressed Hair Places a Ceiling on the Mind’ in Walker, A. Residing by the Phrase. New York: Harcourt. Weekes, D. 1997. ‘Shades of Blackness: Younger Black feminine constructions of magnificence’ in Safia Mirza, H. (ed.) Black British Feminism: A Reader. London & New York: Routledge. Magazines and Newspapers Marie Claire, April 1999.

Madondo, B. ‘Blessed are the Dreaded’ in The Sunday Impartial, Sunday Life 18 October, 1998. 13 Watt, J. ‘Yr of the black hair revolution’ in Weekly Mail & Guardian 24 December, 1996. Interviews and Discussions Interview with Ms Carol Davis, proprietor of Black Magic Salon, Durban Street, Bellville, Cape City, 2 March, 1999. Class dialogue with third 12 months college students of humanities, 17 March, 1999. i Differential racialisation refers back to the varied methods during which totally different black folks have been and proceed to be racialised. This conceptualisation is predicated on an understanding of racisms and racialisation as processes which aren’t uniform and immutable. Racisms and racialised identities are shaped within the context of and so formed by very particular relations of social energy. For instance, central to Europe’s race science have been descriptions of the Khoi and San as ugly and lazy thieves, whereas Bantu talking peoples, particularly the Zulu, have been described as ‘noble savages’ (Nederveen-Pieterse, 1992). As well as, on the time of slavery on the Cape, historic distinctions between domestically born and international slaves, between native populations and imported slaves, and amongst imported slaves of various geographical and ethnic origins formed the pigmentocracy of the early Cape (Shell, 1994). ii I take advantage of the phrases ‘colored’ and ‘coloured-african’ interchangeably to check with folks traditionally labeled ‘colored’ in SA. The latter asserts the african location of colored identities. Use of the decrease case is an try to withstand centering any certainly one of these identities. iii ‘Kroes’ is the Afrikaans phrase for kinky hair. iv There’s a gendered politics to each hair-straightening and ‘going pure’.

Lengthy hair and complicated hair-care rituals corresponding to straightening are typically thought of female and signify(ed) respectability for black ladies. In contrast to the case with black ladies, Craig (1997) notes that there was by no means a time when most black males straightened their hair. Within the USA within the 1940s and 1950s, marginalised heterosexual black males ‘conked’ their hair – a type of chemical hair straightening utilizing lye-based cream. These males have been both poor or in leisure. For the poor, a conk represented sophistication. For the middle-class it was a mark of marginal masculinity or non-respectability. By the 1960s, characterised by each a bigger black middle-class and the ideology of Black Energy, the conk more and more represented poverty and non-conformity. Craig’s work on the conk illustrates how gendered constructions made it tougher for black males to straighten their hair. Equally, these constructions made it tougher for black ladies to put on an afro or ‘go pure’.