The hair tips, advice and recommendations given on this blog are given based on the experiences of the authors. These tips may not work for everyone and every hair type and it is important to acknowledge this since we are neither hair specialists nor trichologists.

Also many pictures on this blog belong to the authors but there are others that we do not have ownership for and thus we do not claim ownership of the ones that do not belong to us.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

I have raved and raved about The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. I have recommended it to every one I know who enjoys reading. I am recommending it again. It is the best book I have read in a while. The Book of Negroes has a different title in the USA and in Australia and New Zealand. It is known as "Somebody Knows my name" in those countries. Why? I don't know! I hear it has something to do with "literary politics".

The book follows Aminata Diallo, a young woman kidnapped and sold into slavery. She is taken from the continent of Africa, to North Carolina, to Canada, back to Africa and then to England. Aminata knows how to "catch babies" and she can read. A slave who reads? She uses her skills in her struggle to stay alive. She just wants to go home! Read the book to know more.

But this post is not about the book. It is about Aminata's hair. I don't remember the author describing her hair (correct me if I am wrong) and so I wondered what would her hair have looked like. What hairstyles would this girl and woman have worn? What challenges did she face regarding her hair as she was fighting to stay alive and "traveling" from place to place?

Here are my thoughts on it. I think when she was home before her kidnapping; she wore lovely corn-rows with bantu knots at the end of each row. Maybe she even had some dried and dyed raffia strands adorning her hair for special occasions. I think she also wrapped her hair in thread sometimes.

On the slave ships she probably kept her hair in big braids. I am sure the conditions on the slave ships did allow her be too fussy with her hair. Maybe she even experienced significant hair loss because of the stress and poor diet. It is possible that her hair may have started knotting into locs.

In North Carolina, I think she may have tried to recover her hair. Maybe she picked/combed out the locs so that she could have her hair out again. I think she may have had her hair in big corn-rows. Perhaps she even tried twists for the first time because of her interaction with people from the Caribbean.

Maybe at one point she wore a teeny-weenie afro because she could not be bothered with too much hair maintenance.

I wonder what hair moisturizer she used? Coconut oil? I think that when she went back to Africa, she either wore afro-puffs or nice and neat corn-rows.

As she aged, I think she may have cut her hair and the grey strands would be peeking out more and more. I think she probably kept her hair in a teeny-weenie afro and allowed her grey hair to pepper her head nicely. And anytime she looked in the mirror, she smiled because her hair was free and so was she!

For more information on the book go to Lawrence Hill's website. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.


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