For a host of reasons, the river called Hair runs deep. And wide. After a decade of wearing my hair “locked”—only one of many versions of its natural state—I continue to bear witness to the triumphs and mysteries of the choice. And also the outright weirdness that happens largely because non-black people are curious, having no clue how these locs happen—not twists, not braids, not extensions. Frankly, I’ve suffered a lot worse insults than someone asking to touch my hair.

So sure. You can touch my hair—if you let me touch yours—and hopefully then we can talk about that and a whole bunch of other things that make us uncomfortable and widen the racial/cultural/political divide.

“Be it straight or curly, braided or shaved, woven or wigged, the hair of black Americans has been a flashpoint for their cultural pride and their critics’ ignorance and scorn.” —Pam Kragen, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan 15, 2016

Let’s begin a conversation with this photo launching my NEW Instagram account:@anitagailjones.

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The photo is an homage to the book by Willie L. Morrow: 400 Years Without a Comb (Black Publishers of San Diego, 1973). Barber/chemist/businessman, Morrow was born and raised a sharecroppers’ son in rural Alabama and went on to become a self-made multimillionaire with the creation of both the Afro pick and the “The California Curl”, a cold wave product most known by the impostor name, Jheri Curl (OMGoodness!…talk about a cultural impact! Picture Lionel Richie singing All Night Long or Michael Jackson’s Thriller days…)

Read The San Diego Union-Tribune article by Pam Kragen about: The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without a Comb, a two part exhibit at the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Jan-March 2016

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