Hair speaks of the past, and of cultural heritage.
Hair has long been modified for aesthetic and other ends. But skewed power structures have meant that women, particularly women of colour, have borne the brunt of stereotyping and prejudice.
“Black hair” has sparked a new racism row at a top South African school.
Schools need to adapt and evolve in changing circumstances and conditions as their students’ demographic composition shifts.
One of the first dilemmas that black people face is whether to let strangers touch their hair – and under what circumstances.
When it comes to black hair, “common sense” is the least reliable tool for decision making since even black people are constantly changing their minds about what they want to do with their hair.
Balkissa Maiga, 17, wears a traditional Songhai headdress made by artisan Hally Bara in Gao, Mali.
Traditionally, African women wore their hair in different ways to signify class or marriage status. Now with globalisation, hair is becoming less traditionalised and more politicised.