Straightening Through The Curly Hairs: Objectifying Mandatory Mythos In Emma Dabiri’s “Don't Touch My Hair” And “Twisted: The Tangled History Of Black Hair Culture”

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Dr. A. Karthika Unnithan


From The Irish-Nigerian Author Emma Dabiri’s Works Don’t Touch My Hair And Twisted: The Tangled History Of Black Hair Culture, This Study Examines Textual Narrativity With Regard To Symbolic Representation Of Hair As A Cue To Portrayal Of Potential Self In The World Of African People. The Article Investigates How The Narrator In Both These Works Reasons The Importance Of Hair Among Blacks As An Introspection To Decolonization From Pre-Colonial Africa, Through The Harlem Renaissance, Black Power And Into Today’s Natural Hair Movement, The Cultural Appropriation Wars And Beyond. In The Narration, The Narrator Delineates The Scope Of Black Hairstyling That Ranges From Pop Culture To Cosmology, From Prehistoric Times To The Futuristic. Through Her Narration, Emma Dabiri Uncovers Classy Native Practices In Black Hair Styles Conjunction With Styles That Aided Enslaved Africans To Freedom.  Don’t Touch My Hair Is A Textual Accumulation Of Visual Symbolism That Proves Black Hair As An Allegory For Black Oppression And Ultimately Liberation Through A Stream Of Consciousness Technique Reflecting The Frame Of Mind Of The Character, Memories, Aspirations, Dreams, And Fears, Working In Ways Comparable To Paratactic Accumulation In Narration.

In Twisted: The Tangled History Of Black Hair Culture Dabiri Takes Us To A Historical And Cultural Investigation Of The Global Past Of Racism As Well As Her Own Unique Perspective Of Self-Love And Affirmation Through The Prism Of Hair Texture. Profoundly Documented And Deeply Distinctive, Twisted Shows That Black Hairstyling Culture Can Be Interpreted As A Metaphor Of Institutionalized Racism.  Finally, These Sample Texts Taken As Examples Combine The Modes Of Narration And Cultural Experience To Comment On Existing Schematization Of Hair Politics In Blacks And Invite Reconsideration Of Conventional Structures. While Most Scholarly Work On Literature Concentrates On Popular Culture Like Mass Media, This Study Aims To Create A Theory Of Hair Politics Through Individual Texts As That Of Dabiri That Qualifies Sampling Of Texts Based On Their Narratological Qualities. Whether Such Books Pose Philosophical Challenges Or Are Meant As Pure Entertainment For Literary World Make Up The Complex Web Of Hair Dynamics In Its Social And Political Context.

    This Paper Also Explores The Relations Between Narrativity And Experience In Dabiri’s Works Specifically Aspects Of Narrativity That Describe Reliability And Performative Aspects Of Narrativity On The Ethnographic Spaces.

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