Graduation Date

Fall 12-15-2017

Grading Professor

Prue Clarke

Subject Concentration


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


For years, black women have been demeaned for their features; their noses, complexions and hair. Straight hair and wavy hair have been considered “good hair.” And for centuries these ideas have been perpetuated by images in the media, cultural messages and even policies in schools and professional settings.

Today black women, nationwide, are rejecting straightening chemicals and embracing their natural hair as a point of pride. I spoke with several black women who are attempting to distance themselves from these negative narratives by honoring their roots.

For black women in America, hair has been the easiest way to connect on a deeper level with their linage.

VIDEO_Dawson_Shanel_Sequence#1.mp4 (269580 kB)
Natural Hair: The Root of a Revolution

VIDEO_Dawson_Shanel_Sequence#2.mp4 (229790 kB)
Ancestral Strands: Getting Back To Your Roots

VIDEO_Dawson_Shanel_Sequence#3.mp4 (67738 kB)
Men Embrace Natural Hair Too



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