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Don't Touch My Hair
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Despite our more liberal world views, black hair continues to be erased, appropriated and stigmatised to the point of taboo. Why is that?

About the Author

Emma Dabiri is a teaching fellow in the Africa department at SOAS and a Visual Sociology PhD researcher at Goldsmiths. She has been published in a number of anthologies - alongside such post-colonial heavyweights as Homi Bhabha and Achille Mbembe - academic journals, as well as the national press. A regular BBC face she presented 'Back in Time Brixton' (BBC2), 'Britain's Lost Masterpieces' (BBC4), as well as the sociological experiment 'Is Love Racist?' (Ch4). Most recently, she hosted Radio 4's critically-acclaimed documentary 'Journeys into Afro-futurism'.

Reviews

Emma Dabiri's groundbreaking Don't Touch My Hair is a scintillating, intellectual investigation into black women and the very serious business of our hair, as it pertains to race, gender, social codes, tradition, culture, cosmology, maths, politics, philosophy and history, and also the role of hairstyles in pre-colonial Africa -- Bernardine Evaristo * The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year *
FASCINATING, educational, personal, humble and engaging. I urge you to read it! -- Marian Keyes
I've been pleasantly engrossed this autumn in Emma Dabiri's nonfiction debut Don't Touch My Hair. Part memoir, part spiky, thoroughly researched socio-political analysis, it delves deep into the painful realities and history of follicular racism -- Diana Evans * Observer Books of the Year *
Both a richly researched cultural history and a voyage to empowerment. -- Colin Grant * Guardian *
Sensational * Women's Health *
Pulled together with meticulous research, Don't Touch My Hair is an unmissable read by a writer who's set to become a household name -- Francesca Brown * Stylist *
The first book from one of Ireland's brightest literary talents, Don't Touch My Hair brilliantly deconstructs western views of everything from beauty to social value systems, and even to our understanding of time, all through the lens of how African cultures value hair. * Hotpress *
Groundbreaking...Her sources are rich, diverse and sometimes heartbreaking. Some books make us feel seen and for me, that is what Don't Touch My Hair does. I would urge everyone to read it -- Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff * Guardian *
An excellent and far reaching book...a call to arms for black African culture * Irish Times *
A powerful and arrestingly relatable account of the rich history of Afro hair that seamlessly interweaves her personal perspective with meticulously researched historical facts * Metro *
Dabiri's brilliant book recognises that black hair - particularly women's hair - is charged with social and racial significance * Tank *

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