'No Toques Mi Pelo' (Don't Touch My Hair): Decoding Afro-Cuban Identity Politics through Hair

'No Toques Mi Pelo' (Don't Touch My Hair): Decoding Afro-Cuban Identity Politics through Hair

Author: 
Mbilishaka, Afiya
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2020
Record type: 
Region: 
Responsibility: 
Ray, Moriah, jt. author
Hall, Jasmine, jt. author
Wilson, Ingrid-Penelope, jt. author
Journal Title: 
African and Black Diaspora: an international journal
Source: 
African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, Volume 13, Number 1, 2020, PP. 114-126
Abstract: 

People across the African Diaspora have developed a complex socio-visual-language system of hair as a means of self-expression; however, the decades of economic sanctions in Cuba generated a unique political dynamic that has shaped concepts of self-image and cultural expressions. Sixteen Afro-Cuban women were interviewed about the cultural significance of their hair using The Guided Hair Autobiography methodology. Participant themes included aesthetic pride and confidence, hair bullying and embarrassment, and hair damage and distress. A Cuban cultural critique underlines how Afro-Cuban women have been socialized to have a bias towards straightened long hair over tightly coiled hair textures. These findings suggest that despite the 'raceless' political revolutionary spirit infused into Cuban cultural ideology, people of African descent process racial politics and identity through hair.

Language: 
Subject profile : 

CITATION: Mbilishaka, Afiya. 'No Toques Mi Pelo' (Don't Touch My Hair): Decoding Afro-Cuban Identity Politics through Hair . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2020. African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, Volume 13, Number 1, 2020, PP. 114-126 - Available at: http://library.au.int/no-toques-mi-pelo-dont-touch-my-hair-decoding-afro-cuban-identity-politics-through-hair