Citation

Black Beauty Culture, Activism, and the Politics of Dignity, 1960-2010

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Abstract:

While activism was already deeply entrenched in the professional culture of beauticians by the 1960s, the political climate of the modern black freedom struggle gave their access to community space and intimate role black women’s lives greater significance. Black beauty culturists in this period were keenly aware of the economic autonomy their profession afforded them, the unique institutional space they controlled, and the access they had to black women within their communities. They were instrumental in developing the political infrastructure for African American women’s involvement in the civil rights movement, which was for the most part under black female control and under the radar, hidden from whites unsympathetic to the cause of racial justice.

In this paper, I will analyze beauty salons and black beauticians as arbiters of what I call the politics of dignity, namely the political potential of acts and spaces of self-care to inspire social change. In other words, seemingly frivolous acts of hair care and adornment provided an atmosphere for black women to heal not only from the wounds of racial inequality, but also to engage in political action during the modern black freedom struggle and the black women’s health movement of the post-civil rights era.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435653_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Gill, Tiffany. "Black Beauty Culture, Activism, and the Politics of Dignity, 1960-2010" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435653_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gill, T. M. "Black Beauty Culture, Activism, and the Politics of Dignity, 1960-2010" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435653_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: While activism was already deeply entrenched in the professional culture of beauticians by the 1960s, the political climate of the modern black freedom struggle gave their access to community space and intimate role black women’s lives greater significance. Black beauty culturists in this period were keenly aware of the economic autonomy their profession afforded them, the unique institutional space they controlled, and the access they had to black women within their communities. They were instrumental in developing the political infrastructure for African American women’s involvement in the civil rights movement, which was for the most part under black female control and under the radar, hidden from whites unsympathetic to the cause of racial justice.

In this paper, I will analyze beauty salons and black beauticians as arbiters of what I call the politics of dignity, namely the political potential of acts and spaces of self-care to inspire social change. In other words, seemingly frivolous acts of hair care and adornment provided an atmosphere for black women to heal not only from the wounds of racial inequality, but also to engage in political action during the modern black freedom struggle and the black women’s health movement of the post-civil rights era.


Similar Titles:
Beauty and the Black Student Revolt: Black Student Activism and the Politics of Campus “Beauty” Spaces

“Not Standing on Their Knees”: Student Civil Rights-Black Power Activism and the Politics of Race Leadership at Fisk, 1960-1975”

Black Cultural Politics and Urban Counterpublics: The Politics of Black Arts Media Activism


 
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