American Ignorance and the Discourse of Manageability Concerning the Care and Presentation of Black Hair Academic Article uri icon


  • A culturally cultivated ignorance with regard to the care and presentation of tightly-curled hair pervades American society. This ignorance masquerades as a discourse of manageability, which supports institutional prohibitions of historically Black American hairstyles. In other words, rather than acknowledging our knowledge deficits, we attribute the medical and aesthetic consequences of our ignorance to the hair itself. The insidious implication is that the display of tightly curled hair is not a matter of taste but indicative of a lack of self-care. I conclude that this trend is racially prejudicial and that laws and education are possible mechanisms of redress.

author list (cited authors)

  • Jaima, A.

publication date

  • September 2020