Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri book review
This book is a breath of fresh air. Even reading whilst using public transport – gives everyone a boundary warning.
What makes this sweeter is that I have the pleasure of knowing and calling Emma a friend.
Before it became a cesspit, Facebook was the new age business card. You met someone cool at a party, it was natural to grab their last name and add them. It was a worthy connection, as Emma introduced and educated me to so much like the Film Africa event. This is usually held in the first week of November in London.
When I deactivated Facebook (for the first time) I spent more time on Instagram and on twitter. Emma shared more of her work, I was proud of her commitment, research, and growth.
When Emma announced that her book “Don’t Touch My Hair” was going to be released in 2019; I automatically pre-ordered on Amazon to have it delivered at my UK address.
As I was still living in Amsterdam at that time.
After a quick stop to the UK, I placed the precious book in my suitcase, promising to read once I arrived in Amsterdam.
“Don’t Touch My Hair” sat on top of my pile books to read, and I finally sat to inhale it.
I have a rare gift (or curse?) of being able to read books at a fast rate. Especially if I am enjoying them.
One might argue that I am not ingesting the information or paying attention to the words, but far from it. I really get lost in books, to the point where I have missed tube stops, missed my mum calling out for me as a child.
This is a detailed book, teaching us the origins of what afro hair meant before slavery. The pride in the styles we wore our hair and the variance.
Emma also injects stories of her growing up in Atlanta, United States, and the vast difference she experienced in Dublin, Ireland.
It educates us on what its like to be both Black and Irish, one of the (many) stand-out lines are “But while I am Irish, I am also black. I am Yoruba. And that means something.”
This proclamation made my heart swell, it DOES mean something.
Imagine how many people that line alone inspires?! Especially for young child children of mixed heritage who feel like they don’t fit in.
Don’t Touch My Hair is for every person to read, a real education in identity, hair, history and the resilience in our people.
It’s also been released in the United States with the title of Twisted: The Tangled History of Black Hair Culture, if we have any American followers who would like to read.
My only regret is that it took me so long to read! Sorry Em 😉
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