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Table of Contents

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Spellers, R. and Moffitt, K. (2010).  Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities.  New Jersey: Hampton Press.

Series Editor
Marsha Houston
(Professor Emerita, University of Alabama)

Haki R. Madhubuti
(Founder and Publisher, Third World Press)

Regina E. Spellers and Kimberly R. Moffitt

Hair/Body Politics as Expressions of the Life Cycle
This section explores how hair and body politics are marked and negotiated during all phases of life, such as rites of passage. It also emphasizes the notion of hair and body as a statement of social identity.
Chapter 1: “The Big Girl’s Chair:” A Rhetorical Analysis of How Motions for Kids Markets Relaxers to African American Girls. Shauntae Brown White (North Carolina Central University)

Chapter 2: Pretty Color ‘n Good Hair: Creole Women of New Orleans and the Politics of Identity. Yaba Amgborale Blay (Lafayette College)

Chapter 3: Twisted: The Dreadlock Chronicles. Bert Ashe (University of Richmond)

Chapter 4: Social Constructions of Black Women’s Hair: Critical Reflections of a Graying Sistah. Brenda J. Allen (University of Colorado Denver)

Chapter 5: What it Feels Like for a (Black Gay HIV+) Boy. Chris Bell (Syracuse University)

Hair/Body as Power
Hair and body are used to reinvent self. In a society that imposes standards that counter self-defined Black corporeal representations, power is a critical resource. Essays in this section will highlight forms of resistance used to challenge the dominant notions of beauty.

Chapter 6: Dominican Dance Floor. Kiini Ibura Salaam (www.kiiniibura.com)

Chapter 7: Covering Up Fat Upper Arms. Mary L. O’Neal (Independent Scholar)

Chapter 8: Cimmarronas, Ciguapas and Senoras: Hair, Beauty and National Identity in the Dominican Republic. Ana-Maurine Lara (Independent Scholar)

Chapter 9: Of Wigs and Weaves, Locks and Fades: A Personal Political Hair Story. Neal A. Lester (Arizona State University) 

Chapter 10: “Scatter the Pigeons:” Baldness and the Performance of Hyper-Black Masculinity. E. Patrick Johnson (Northwestern University)

Hair/Body in Art and Popular Culture
This section discusses the impact of mediated images on how we construct, define and make meaning of our aesthetic images. Specifically, it addresses the implications of mass-produced representations of the Black body. Contributors will deal with the larger issues of commodification, capitalism, aesthetics, and technology as they relate to the biological body within popular media and art forms.

Chapter 11: From Air Jordan to Jumpman: The Black Male Body as Commodity. Ingrid Banks (University of California at Santa Barbara)

Chapter 12: Cool Pose on Wheels: An Exploration of the Disabled Black Male in Film. Kimberly R. Moffitt (University of Maryland Baltimore County)

Chapter 13: Decoding the Meaning of Tattoos: Cluster Criticism and the Case of Tupac Shakur’s Body Art. Carlos D. Morrison (Alabama State University), Josette R. Hutton (Independent Scholar) and Ulysses Williams (Voorhees College)

Chapter 14: Blacks in White Marble: Interracial Female Subjects in Mid-Nineteenth- Century Neoclassicism Charmaine Nelson (McGill University)

Chapter 15: Changing Hair/Changing Race: Black Authenticity, Colorblindness, and Hairy Post-ethic Costumes in Mixing Nia Ralina L. Joseph (University of Washington)

Chapter 16: “I’m Real” (Black) when I Wanna Be: Examining J. Lo’s Racial ASSets. Sika Alaine Dagbovie (Florida Atlantic University) and Zine Magubane (Boston College)

Celebrations, Innovations, and Applications of Hair/Body Politics
Chapters in this section acknowledge the complexities associated with loving blackness in its varied and diverse form by articulating new and interesting archetypes for understanding Black hair and body politics.  By engaging in self-definition, self-evaluation and self-reflection, authors convey the importance of deconstructing and reconstructing how Black corporeal aesthetics are conceptualized.  Here, the emphasis is on celebrations, innovations and applications of Black corporeal aesthetics that cross the Atlantic and traverse the African Diaspora in multiple directions.

Chapter 17: Diaspora in my Hair: A Poetic Narrative of my Experience in Europe. Nadège Tanite Clitandre (University of California at Santa Barbara)

Chapter 18: Broken Mirrors and Reflections of One’s Self: Blackness, Indianness and Hybridity. Hershini Bhana Young (University at Buffalo, The State University of New York)

Chapter 19: Sun Kissed or Sun Cursed?; Exploring Color Consciousness and Black Women's Tanning Experiences. Regina E. Spellers (Eagles Soar Consulting, LLC)

Chapter 20: African Men in the United States: Stories of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Power. Hameed S. Williams (Herukhuti) (www.blackfunk.org)

Chapter 21: Weaving Messages of Self-Esteem: Empowering Mothers and Daughters through Hair Braiding. Tracey Y. Lewis-Elligan (DePaul University)

Contradictions, Complications and Complexities of Hair/Body Politics
In our final section, authors introduce, develop or expound upon crucial issues that advance the study of Black hair/ body politics.  By taking note of, for example, how Black people participate in the politicization of the Black body, of how Black male and female bodies are economized differently, and of the cultural fragmentation of Africana communities, we gain a better perspective of the contradictions, complications, and complexities inherent in Black hair/body politics. These perspectives then allow us to theorize about and deconstruct interlocking systems, providing an opportunity to transform our notions of hair/body politics.

Chapter 22: Divas to the Dance Floor Please!: A Neo-Black Feminist Readin(g) of Cool Pose. D. Nebi Hilliard (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Chapter 23: Coming Out Natural: Dreaded Desire, Sex Roles, and Cornrows.
L. H. Stallings (University of Florida)

Chapter 24: “I am More than a Victim:” The Slave Woman Stereotype in Antebellum Narratives by Black Men. Ellesia A. Blaque (Palm Beach Community College)

Chapter 25: Two Warring Ideals, One Dark Body: Hegemony, Duality, and Temporality of the Black Body in African-American Religion. Stephen C. Finley (Louisiana State University)

Chapter 26: The Snake that Bit Medusa: One (Phenotypically) White Woman’s Dread(s). Kabira Z. Cadogan (University of Iowa)

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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.