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Ever wonder why we’re still talking about “good hair?”
If Black people tan?
Or what’s up with that white girl/guy with dreads?

Hair. Body. Skin tone. Gender. Sexuality. Class. Culture. Ethnicity. Race. Ability. Nationality. Theory. Truth. Lies. Profit. Power. Politics. They all mix. Throughout the African Diaspora, the black body has been linked, in particular ways, to beauty, status, spirituality, health, erotic and exotic consciousness, and markings of social identity. It has been mass produced and marketed. Commodified and celebrated.


This website is dedicated to exploring these and other knotty issues raised in
"Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in African Communities"

As co-editors of this book and moderators of this website we invite you to:

  • Learn more about this dynamic volume
  • Check out upcoming events
  • Join in the discussion of these pressing issues, and Buy the book!

Our collection contains twenty-six chapters written by a diverse group of academics, independent scholars, and creative writers. In this unique collection you will find poems, creative writings, and scholarly essays that critically examine Black hair/body politics or how our physical attributes -- hair, body, skin tone – get tangled together with stereotyping and labeling; desire and detest; perception and representation; material consequences and opportunities. In sum, Blackberries and Redbones both celebrates and scrutinizes the creativity, history, lived experiences, and meanings of Blackness in everyday life.  

We think you’ll agree that this book can be used in the classroom or coffee house. Beauty shop or barber shop. Book club or block club. It is a good read anywhere and for anyone who wants to engage the complex ways blackness is portrayed, (mis)understood, and celebrated worldwide.

You can participate in the conversation in two ways 1) Join our discussion forum here on the website. It’s free and our topics, we hope, will generate affirming dialogue about that which is Africana in the name of Black hair/body politics. 2) Buy the book. The distinct set of discussion questions after each chapter help guide readers through concepts presented in each chapter.

We look forward to your comments! 

Best regards,
Regina E. Spellers Sims, Ph.D. & Kimberly R. Moffitt, Ph.D.  


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Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities
Co-editors: Regina E. Spellers Sims, Ph.D. & Kimberly R. Moffitt, Ph.D.