#Black Hair + Books: “Dreads”

#Black Hair + Books: “Dreads”

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Did you think I’d run out of books for my “books about Black hair challenge?” Oh no, cornrow! I’m just getting started. Today’s entry is probably one of my favorite photo books, Dreads by Francesco Mastalia and Alfonse Pagano with an introduction by Alice Walker. Yes, this is a gorgeous coffee table book dedicated to the beauty and wonder of dredlocks, written and photographed by two Italian men. I remember when this book came out in 1999 there was some shade thrown on Mastalia and Pagano, seeing…

#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…

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,…

Ms. Meltingpot Meets “The Bald Mermaid:” Sheila Bridges

Ms. Meltingpot Meets “The Bald Mermaid:” Sheila Bridges

Hi Meltingpot Readers, Last Thursday I had the wonderful opportunity to do a reading here in Philadelphia with the amazing Sheila Bridges. She is a well-known interior designer, TV personality and author. We were on a panel together where she spoke about her memoir The Bald Mermaid and I was reading from Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. The irony wasn’t lost on anyone that I was pontificating on the deep-seeded cultural and historical significance of our hair while Sheila was sharing her journey with alopecia,…

Arise Media: News for the World

Arise Media: News for the World

Hi Meltingpot Readers, Earlier this week, my co-author and I had the privilege of appearing on Arise360 to talk about Hair Story. What? You’ve never heard of Arise360? Well, then you heard it here first but don’t think it will be the last time. Arise360 is a daily entertainment and culture show on the new Arise Network which launched in early 2013. In Europe and Africa, the channel is available on cable. Here in the United States, you have to watch online. Yes, people, an entire new network was launched…

Happy Pub Day for Hair Story!

Happy Pub Day for Hair Story!

Hi Meltingpot Readers, So, first, thank you all for your kind comments regarding my last post. It really warmed my heart to hear from so many of you. Thankfully, many things are going well in my life, including everyone’s health. But what I’m really excited about is that today is the pub day for my new book! And when I say “new” I mean the updated version of my first book, Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. (St. Martin’s). We added two new chapters covering the…

Hair Story Gets a New Look!

Hair Story Gets a New Look!

Hi Meltingpot Readers, I’m sure you all don’t want to hear all of the backstage drama that goes into getting a book published. Once the book is written and sold to a publisher it should be all smooth sailing, but no. There’s so much more minutiae that can make you wonder why you got into this business in the first place. Especially the perennial fight over the cover. Please ask any author you know if they had to fight to get the cover they wanted on their book and I…

Black Girl Hair Is Still “Unacceptable”

Black Girl Hair Is Still “Unacceptable”

Hi Meltingpot Readers, Clearly you know I keep watch on all things Black hair related for all of my research for my book, Hair Story. But even if I wasn’t a certified hairstorian, I’d still be completely engrossed in all of the Black hair news being made this week. First of all, one of the Black co-hosts on The Talk, Sheryl Underwood -who is also a comedian – thought she was being funny (I think) when she derided Heidi Klum for keeping her kid’s Afro hair as a keepsake. Not…