#Books+Black Hair: Happy to be Nappy

#Books+Black Hair: Happy to be Nappy

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Today’s Black History book about Black hair really needs no explanation. The title – Happy to be Nappy by bell hooks – says it all. But remember, this book came out in 1999 before nappy was considered a nice word by some. The whimsical water-color illustrations by Chris Raschka and hooks’ poetic ode to our baby girls’ crowning glory still makes this one of my favorite books celebrating Black hair. And not to brag or anything, but I have a signed copy. You could probably get a…

#Books+BlackHair: Americanah

#Books+BlackHair: Americanah

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Today’s Black History Month book about Black hair isn’t really about Black hair, but Black hair does feature a prominent role in the story, so it counts. The book is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I read this book when it first came out in 2013 but I’m reading it again because I assigned it for homework for one of the classes I teach at Temple. And I cannot believe how prominently Black hair and Black hair culture are featured in the story and moreover, how perceptive…

Books + Hair for Black History Month

Books + Hair for Black History Month

Hello Meltingpot Readers. It’s officially the first day of February which means two very important things; 1) My birthday is only days away and 2) It’s the beginning of Black History Month. So much to celebrate in February. Since it’s my birthday month and this is my blog, I’ve decided to celebrate two of my favorite things in honor of Black history month, books and Black hair. Think of it as a celebration and a challenge. I was partially inspired by that cute little girl, Marley Dias, tired of reading…

#WomensLives: 50 Years of Nigerian Hairstyles

#WomensLives: 50 Years of Nigerian Hairstyles

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Not so long ago I shared with you that I would be highlighting some great stories about women around the world in partnership with PRI’s #WomensLives initiative. Well, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this story, posted today, about the work of the late Nigerian photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, who captured over 50 years of Nigerian hairstyles in stunning black and white photographs. The hairstyles are amazing and each one is imbued with meaning. Many of them harken back to the styles my co-author and…

Essence Magazine’s May Book Picks: A Meltingpot Dream

Essence Magazine’s May Book Picks: A Meltingpot Dream

Hello Meltingpot Readers, When you think of Ms. Meltingpot’s favorite things, you know books, Black hair, and multi-culti family life are all on the list right? Well, it’s like Essence magazine Books Editor, Patrick Bass was thinking only about me when he chose what books to feature in the May issue of the magazine. Seriously, I think he created this list just for me. While I would read everything on the three-page spread dedicated to books, the two standouts that I think you too, dear readers, will enjoy are Loving…

Hair’s the Thing: Dove’s #LoveYourCurls Campaign

Hair’s the Thing: Dove’s #LoveYourCurls Campaign

Hi Meltingpot readers, Have you seen Dove’s new #LoveYourCurls video? There aren’t any references to Dove products in the video, so it actually feels more like a public service announcement than a commercial. The main message is that little girls with curly hair want straight hair because they believe it’s more beautiful. This of course, we can assume, will be detrimental to their self-esteem and body confidence. The solution, according to the social scientists employed by Dove, is for mothers and relatives and essentially anyone who is exposed to a…

Death in the World of Curls: RIP Titi Branch

Death in the World of Curls: RIP Titi Branch

Hi Meltingpot Readers, Many of you know that in my other life, I am obsessed with Black hair. I’ve written books, articles and essays about the Black hair experience in the United States. Many times I write about the business angle of Black hair because it is such a lucrative industry with some truly exceptional characters. One company I’ve been following for years is Miss Jessie’s, the makers of delicious-sounding hair products like Curly Pudding and Baby Buttercreme. I loved the two sisters behind the brand, Miko and Titi Branch,…

My Kid has Mixie Hair and I Don’t: A Confessional

My Kid has Mixie Hair and I Don’t: A Confessional

Hi Meltingpot Readers, Last week, I wrote an essay for xoJane about my absolute lack of hair styling prowess when it comes to my daughter’s hair. It was a true confession for all the world to see and critique, but I was happy to see that of the over 100 comments, most people only had nice things to say. Phew. If you have the time, feel free to check it out. Thanks!