Chapter 15: Changing Hair/Changing Race: Black Authenticity, Colorblindness, and Hairy Post-ethic Costumes in Mixing Nia

In this chapter I analyze the racialized hair narrative in Alison Swan’s independent fi lm Mixing Nia (1998). The continuous transformations of the protagonist Nia’s mixed-race African American hair, which accompany changes in Nia’s love life and career, signify a colorblind ideology that race no longer matters. In other words, Nia changes her hair in order to change her identity. Because they are divorced from historical context or structural impact, Nia embraces the idea that one can freely change racial and sexual personae. Mixing Nia helps us understand how colorblindness can be reified in a contemporary representation of Black/white mixed-race.