You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain

Plume. Oct. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780143129202. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780143129219. HUMOR
Blending memoir and social commentary, this debut book by comedian, writer, and actress Robinson (cohost of the podcast 2 Dope Queens) reflects on pop culture and modern Black womanhood. From the hot combs of her childhood to the transition to natural hair after high school, Robinson candidly shares her hair journey and reminds Black women that our hair determines how we'll be treated. Robinson discusses icons of black hair (Grace Jones, Lisa Bonet, and Lupita Nyong'o, among others) and the greatest TV moment for Black women thus far. Refusing to believe in the idea of guilty pleasures, the author relays her love of U2, fan fiction, and WWE while explaining that Blackness is not a monolith. "For people of color, having a strong sense of self often feels like a Sisyphean task every single day." To aid in self-care, she presents practical advice on how to avoid being "The Black Friend" and how not to internalize sexism and racism. Later chapters offer a critique of Hollywood casting calls and boast the benefits of online shopping.
VERDICT A thought-provoking collection of essays that will find a welcome home among Black women and general readers who appreciate the humor in everyday situations.
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