Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

African-American Studies

First Advisor

Sarita Davis

Second Advisor

Tiffany King

Third Advisor

Makungu Akinyela

Abstract

This qualitative study explores microaggressions in the online natural hair community. Using a thematic analysis, it specifically analyzes conversations about natural hair texture discrimination and /or biases, also known as curlism, in natural hair online spaces such as blogs and YouTube videos. This study concludes that hair texture biases and the ways in which Black women with natural hair experience difference in hair texture is multifaceted; therefore, natural hair companies, women in the natural hair community, and the natural hair community are not individually responsible. Each plays a different role in the perpetuation of hierarchy and difference within this community. The themes developed in this research are as follows: The Kink Vs. The Curl, Curlism as Colorism, Insurgence of Hair Texture Biases, and Empowerment of the Natural Hair Community.

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