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Textures: The History and Art of Black Hair

Tameka Ellington and Joseph L. Underwood

TEXTURES synthesises research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of peoples of African descent. A fraught topic for African-Americans and others in the Diaspora, artists, barbers, and activists address the topic of Black hair,both the historical perceptions and its ramifications for self and society today.

TEXTURES explores the breadth of Black artists’ perspectives on hair vis-à-vis beauty, pride, and politics. Barbers and activists address Black hair, from historical perceptions to its challenges today. Combs, products, and implements from the collection of hair pioneer Willie Morrow are paired with masterworks from artists like David Hammons, Sonya Clark, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, and Alison Saar. The exhibition & catalogue are inspired by Drs. Ellington and Underwood who research preferential treatment of straight hair, the social hierarchies of skin, and the power and politics of display.


Tameka Ellington is a professor in the Fashion School at Kent State University. Joseph L. Underwood is professor of art history at Kent State University.

Category:  Art & Craft
ISBN:  9783777435541
Publisher:  Thames & Hudson
On sale:  December 2020
Format:  Paperback
eBook ISBN  Hardback 
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