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Race and Ethnicity

English Faculty Publications

Black hair theory

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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

"Hair Drama" On The Cover Of "Vibe" Magazine, Bertram D. Ashe Jan 2001

"Hair Drama" On The Cover Of "Vibe" Magazine, Bertram D. Ashe

English Faculty Publications

This study consists of a cultural reading of the cover photograph of the June-July 1999 issue of Vibe magazine. It explores the relationship between Mase, an African-American male rap star, and the three anonymous African-American female models that surround him. The study interprets the cover through the long, straightened hair of the models, locating the models' hair in a historically-informed context of black hair theory and practice. The study argues that the models' presence on the cover, particularly their "bone straight and long" hair, "enhances" Mase in much the same way breast-augmented "trophy women" "enhance" their mates. Ultimately, the study ...