Lyzette WanzerDec 21, 2022
Trauma, Tresses, and Truth
Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives
Chicago Review Press 2022
Black women continue to have a complex and convoluted relationship with their hair. From grammar and high schools to corporate boardrooms and military squadrons, Black and Afro Latina natural hair continues to confound, transfix, and enrage members of White American society. Why, in 2022, is this still the case? Why have we not moved beyond that perennial racist emblem? And why are women so disproportionately affected?
Why does our hair become most palatable when it capitulates, and has been subjugated, to resemble Caucasian features as closely as possible? Who or what is responsible for the web of supervision and surveillance of our hair? Who in our society gets to author the prevailing constitution of professional appearance?
Particularly relevant during this time of emboldened White supremacy, racism, and provocative othering, Lyzette Wanzer's Trauma, Tresses, and Truth: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives (Chicago Review Press, 2022) explores how writing about one of the still-remaining systemic biases in schools, academia, and corporate America might lead to greater understanding and respect.
Iqra Shagufta Cheema writes and teaches in the areas of digital cultures, postcolonial literatures, transnational digital feminisms, gender and sexuality studies, and global south film studies. Check out their latest book: The Other #MeToos. Follow them on Twitter.