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Race and Ethnicity

English Faculty Publications

African American identity

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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

Invisible Dread, From Twisted: The Dreadlock Chronicles, Bertram D. Ashe Jan 2010

Invisible Dread, From Twisted: The Dreadlock Chronicles, Bertram D. Ashe

English Faculty Publications

This excerpt traces the issues and process surrounding the dreadlocking of an Afri­can-American professor's hair. The personal history leading up to the decision to grow locks is briefly addressed, as is the experience of getting twisted for the first time and some reactions to the new hairstyle. Twisted discusses issues of cultural authenticity and academic nonconformity. It examines dreadlocks as a pathway to explore black identity, but in opposing ways: the act of locking ones hair does dis­play unconventional blackness - but it also participates in a preexisting black style. To what extent, the excerpt asks, can the ...