P1: Vendor/GDW Sex Roles [sers] pp311-sers-362486 November 15, 2001 15:16 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999 ° C Sex Roles, Vol. 45, Nos. 1/2, July 2001 ( 2001) Book Review Hair Matters: Beauty, Power, and Black Women’s Consciousness. By Ingrid Banks, New York: New York University Press, 2000, 197 pp., $17.50. In Hair Matters: Beauty, Power, and Black Women’s Consciousness, Ingrid Banks delineates the diverse range of meanings African American women in the United States attach to hair as a signiﬁer of personhood and polit- ical afﬁnity. Drawing liberally from thematic interviews and focus groups, Banks allows these women’s diverse opinions to illustrate elaborate and self- conscious understandings of hair textures, hairstyles, and hair care that are imbued with social connotations and mined for psychological implications. The voices of these women narrate the powerful story of why something as ostensibly innocuous as hair really does matter quite centrally in discus- sions about community, femininity, and racial identity at the beginning of the 21st century. Banks begins the journey by challenging several foundational psycho- logical forays into the topic of hair and its many signiﬁcances, from Sigmund Freud’s Medusian pychoanalytics of the 1920s to Charles Bergs’s 1951 argu- ment about
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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