- 25 Apr 19
The first book from one of Ireland’s brightest literary talents, Don’t Touch My Hair brilliantly deconstructs western views of everything from beauty to social value systems, and even to our understanding of time, all through the lens of how African cultures value hair.
The book begins with Dabiri’s upbringing in Ireland, moving through to pre-colonial West Africa, to the slave trade in America, then on to the market dominance of beauty products in the 20th century, as well as examining at how black hair is valued, appropriated, and misunderstood in the modern age of social media.
Throughout, Dabiri writes with an impressively buoyant prose style; she's exuberant in her message, even as she ties in a huge amount of historical research and anecdotal evidence into her text. She manages successfully to castigate those responsible for the ‘othering’ of black culture, while simultaneously raising up her fellow sisters.
This is a proud, liberating, perspective-changing read.