Your application has been accepted.
The phone interview went well. The person you spoke to seemed impressed with your qualifications, education and experience. You laughed at the same joke. I knew some people in the same industry. In a face-to-face interview, they told you this job was up to you. Trauma, Torres & Truth, edited by Lisette Wanzer, combs through this irritation.
Nearly four years ago, then-Senator Holly Mitchell of California drafted and sponsored what was called the “Crown Act,” which prohibited discrimination based on hair style and texture. California passed the law that summer, and other states and local governments have followed suit since. Still, trouble comes on behalf of the hair.
During the era of slavery, hair was concealed to “limit the appearance” of marketable women and enforce conformity, and preference was given to slaves with straighter hair and lighter skin. Previously, “hair dressing” ads promised to tame “twisted, untidy, ugly” hair. Madame CJ Walker’s product availability states, “Black women… [their] Diaper hair and get it.
That said, sometimes it feels like the Black Body is the battlefield and the Black Skull is the helmet. It happens to men when people question braids in a professional setting or stereotype men with rock. Worse, pero malo (bad hair) is the word that follows babies and small children who are too young to shout the word “no” or choose for themselves.
Regarding work, one essayist said: It can happen with reduced tips at restaurant jobs, lack of promotions or raises, or complete unemployment – and for what?
Another essayist said: it is. “
A quick flip through “Trauma, Tresses & Truth” doesn’t seem to teach you anything new. In fact, most people who pick it up live it, so it’s quite a sermon to the choir. Still, these pages have a charm and support as if they were at a town hall meeting for black women’s hair.
It’s true that men are underrepresented in the book, but the essayists compiled by editor Lisette Wanzer are mostly black and Puerto Rican women who sit back and sigh with happiness. I am writing about my previous hairstyles in a nice way. Relax her shoulders. Some essayists remember a soft ache in the head a long time ago or last week, Jerry’s curl confusion, and embarrassment. These memories, these resentments help weave friendship into each story.
Obviously, this is a book for women, but black men might find the words meaningful as well. Your toes will curl.
“Trauma, Tresses & Truth: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narratives,” Lyzette Wanzer, ed., Lawrence Hill Books, 2023, 255 pp., $19.99