Here's an excerpt:
"It's not about hair per se, it's about what hair means, particularly for
black women in terms of racial identity, identity based on gender and ideas
about power," she said. "On one level, hair matters because race matters in our
society. For black people, our hair has been infused with these racial
Banks points to the ideas, which continue to linger, that if a black woman straightens her hair she is "selling out the race" and/or "embracing the white standard of beauty" while women who wear their hair in natural styles are "blacker than thou."
"When we think about that, there is no other racial or ethnic group in which those ideas come to bear on someone's politics," said Banks, who gathered data for her book by traveling to black hair salons across the country. "No one is saying that about white women, Asian women or Latino women."
Read More. And come back and tell me what you think.