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"Embracing Curls, Natural Hair, and the Pajon:Afro-Dominicanness and the Reconstruction of Racial Identity through Hair"

Guest Speaker: Dr. Kimberly Simmons' lecture explores the natural hair movement taking place in the Dominican Republic where women view natural hair as a sign of beauty, resistance, and personal expression of Afro-Dominicanness. Having straight hair is often the norm and is promoted in print and television media as the standard of beauty and definition of what is socially acceptable in Dominican society. This is changing as the natural hair movement gains momentum in the Dominican Republic and represents a significant and symbolic shift signaling changing views of Afro-Dominican identity where hair straightening has served as a symbolic erasure of African ancestry. This lecture highlights the ways in which Dominican hair stylists, activists, and others organize around and embrace natural hair as an expression of Blackness and belonging to a larger African diaspora community.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Strong Hall, B1
1621 West Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Humanities & Social Sciences, Diversity & Inclusion


Current Students, Faculty & Staff


Black History Month


Africana Studies Program

Contact Name

Nanette Rodgers

Contact Email

Contact Phone


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