Image source: instagram.com/emmadabiri
It’s been an incredible year for black British female authors. This year alone we’ve witnessed the resounding success of books such as Slay In Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch and What A Time To Be Alone by Chidera Eggerue and we couldn’t be more excited to learn that writer/historian Emma Dabiri is set to release her debut book on Penguin books called Don’t Touch My Hair. Taking to her Instagram account to announce the news, the Irish-Nigerian academic wrote:
“I’ve spent the past two years working on this & I can’t tell you how hard it’s been, but here we are. Published early next year…this is it. Ashe! Don’t Touch My Hair: Recent years have seen the conversation around black hair reach tipping point, yet detractors still proclaim ‘it’s only hair!’ when it never is. This book seeks to re-establish the cultural significance of African hairstyles, using them as a blueprint for decolonisation. Over a series of wry, informed essays, the author takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and into today’s Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at the trajectory from hair capitalists like Madam CJ Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, touching on everything from women’s solidarity and friendship, to forgotten African scholars, to the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids.”
Despite the gains made in recent years by the natural hair movement, and social providing a platform for us to celebrate the beauty, diversity and uniqueness of black hair, we still maintain that the conversation is far from over and we have some way to go before black women and girls across the globe can wear their hair freely without judgement and scrutiny from others. We certainly look forward to learning more about Emma’s thoughts, which will no doubt help to move the conversation forward. The book is slated for release in 2019, although no exact date has been given as yet. You can pre-order Don’t Touch My Hair here.