SOCIAL SCIENCES

Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul

Univ. of North Carolina. Oct. 2015. 272p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781469625157. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781469625164. SOC SCI
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OrangeReviewStarIn this compelling examination of "soul style," Ford (Do You Remember Olive Morris??) probes the cultural history of the black Diaspora through body politics and style choices. By tracing what started as one woman's exploration into her sense of self, Ford describes soul style as having transitioned from being an individual choice to becoming a collective political statement and eventually to misdiagnosed perceptions among the media. The style politics adopted by black women in both the United States and abroad created an identity for the Diaspora that moves between being a connection through the combined vision of kinship to a symbol of pride and resistance. Black style moved from grassroots to the mainstream, giving marketing campaigns a new demographic and the media a template from which to depict young black activists.
VERDICT Ford creates a fierce and vibrant dialog on the rarely recounted women's perspective on black style, beauty, and soul. Our style tells the story of us. This account is beneficial for scholars and history buffs alike.

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