A Symposium for TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair

This event already has occurred.

Thursday, April 14, 2022 (All day) to Friday, April 15, 2022 (All day)

Kent State University Museum

A Symposium for TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair 

Kent State University Museum
Murphy Auditorium
Kent, Ohio
April 14-15, 2022

Join the Livestream!

We are honored to welcome you to this symposium, convened in conjunction with the exhibition TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair. The exhibition runs from September 10, 2021 - August 14, 2022, and synthesizes research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of peoples of African descent. This symposium surrounds these histories and convenes thinkers and creators from a variety of backgrounds to discuss, engage, and celebrate ideas pertaining to Black history, hair, beauty, and culture. 

The keynote speakers for this symposium are Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka, clinical psychologist and hairstylist, PsychoHairapy LLC, and Dr. Crystal Porter, hair scientist and president of Mane Insights, Inc.

This symposium is open to the public and will also be livestreamed online for those unable to attend in person. An overview of this two-day event is below and you can also download the full Symposium Program (PDF).


TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair is made possible with the generous sponsorship of:

Logos of TEXTURES sponsors

Additional support from National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Humanities Council, the Ohio Arts Council, Callahan Foundation, KSU Global Understanding Research Initiative, the KSU Provost’s Office, KSU Dean’s Office of the College of the Arts, Leslie Royce Resnik, the KSU School of Fashion, KSU Pan-African Studies, KSU Research and Sponsored Programs, Dr. Geneva Damron, Colorist and Brand Ambassador Greg Gilmore, and Kent Area (OH) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated.



Symposium Speakers

Foluso Akinbode, Ph.D. candidate & instructor, Texas Woman’s University

Alix Bizet, social designer

Mike Daniels, director, Kent State University Student Multicultural Center

Bloomberg & Ebony, in collaboration with TEXTURES

Dr. Tameka Ellington, co-curator of TEXTURES

Dr. Osuanyi Quaicoo Essel, senior lecturer, University of Education, Winneba

Dr. Lynnette M. Gilbert, assistant professor of art education, Arkansas Tech University

Dr. Amoaba Gooden, vice president, Kent State University Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Whitney Harris, assistant professor of virtual digital media, University of the District of Columbia

Ambar Johnson, founder of Parallel Patterns

Kent Area Chapter of the Links student photographers

Camaron Loritts, assistant director of the Center for Research, Engagement, and Collaboration for African American Life

Dr. Annette Lynch, professor of textiles and apparel, University of Northern Iowa

Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka, clinical psychologist and hairstylist, PsychoHairapy LLC

Sia Nyorkor, news anchor & reporter, WOIO-TV

Dr. Crystal Porter, hair scientist and president of Mane Insights. Inc.

Dr. Kendra L. Preer, arts facet chair, Kent Area Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, lecturer, Case Western Reserve University

Maryse Ronel (a.k.a. Masa Zodros), artist featured in TEXTURES

Dr. Taura Taylor, assistant professor of sociology, Morehouse College

Dr. Joseph L. Underwood, assistant professor of art history, Kent State University

Ladosha Wright, salon owner and author
 



Symposium Schedule

Time Speaker(s) Topic
Thursday, April 14, 2022    
9:00 a.m.

Symposium Organizers: Dr. Tameka Ellington and Dr. Joseph L. Underwood

Meet & Greet
10:00 a.m. Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox Fashioning the Black Flapper: The Politics of Beauty and Respectability in the 1920s
10:30 a.m. Dr. Annette Lynch An Analysis of the Semiotics and Meaning Making of Black Hair and Identity in Jacqueline Woodson’s Verse Narrative Autobiography of ‘brown girl dreaming'
11:00 a.m. Maryse RONEL (a.k.a. Masa Zodros) Representation des noirs en Europe avant l’esclavage
(The Representation of Blacks in Europe before Slavery)
11:30 a.m. Dr. Joseph L. Underwood A Photographic Record of Blackness and Black Hair
12:00 p.m.   Adjourn for Lunch
1:30 p.m. Dr. Osuanyi Quaicoo Essel The Rise of Rasta Hair
2:00 p.m. Dr. Taura Taylor You Don’t Need A Mirror When Your Sister Does Your Hair
2:30 p.m. Whitney Harris Hair Texture on TV News: Why Representation Matters
3:00 p.m. Sia Nyorkor Screening of The Next 400: Digging into the tangled roots of Black hair culture
4:00 p.m.   Adjourn for Break/Gallery Visit
6:00 p.m. Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka with an introduction by Mike Daniels Keynote Lecture: How to be an Anti-Texturist
7:00 p.m. Symposium Organizers: Dr. Tameka Ellington and Dr. Joseph L. Underwood Closing remarks and reflections
Friday, April 15, 2022    
9:00 a.m. Symposium Organizers: Dr. Tameka Ellington and Dr. Joseph L. Underwood Meet & Greet
10:00 a.m. Dr. Lynnette M. Gilbert Crown and Glory
10:30 a.m. Camaron Loritts Is My Hair Too Radical For You?
11:00 a.m. Alix Bizet Afro Hair Futurity
11:30 a.m. Dr. Tameka Ellington Self-esteem, Quality of Life, and Natural Hair
12:00 p.m.   Adjourn for Lunch
1:30 p.m. Foluso Akinbode Our Hair is Community
2:00 p.m. Ladosha Wright Behind the Salon Chair: The Pressure and Influence on Black Hair and its Appearance
2:30 p.m. Ambar Johnson Cornrows: Connecting Cities, Culture, and Community
3:00 p.m. Bloomberg & Ebony, in collaboration with TEXTURES Screening of Made: Exploding the Old Narratives Around Black Hair
3:30 p.m. Dr. Kendra L. Preer and KAC Links student photographers Illuminate: Through the Eyes of the 21st Century African American Child
4:00 p.m.    Adjourn for Break/Gallery Visit
6:00 p.m. Dr. Crystal Porter with an introduction by Dr. Amoaba Gooden Keynote Lecture: Hairy Business: Getting to the Root of Hair Health
7:00 p.m. Symposium Organizers: Dr. Tameka Ellington and Dr. Joseph L. Underwood Closing remarks and reflections

 



Symposium Livestream

Thursday, April 14: Morning

 



Thursday, April 14: Afternoon

 

 



Friday, April 15: Morning

 

 


Friday, April 15: Afternoon

 

 



Banner image credit: Lorna Simpson, Square Deal, 1990, 8 dye diffusion color Polaroid prints, 1 engraved plastic plaque (Edition 1 of 3), Photos: 23.6 × 19.7 in. (60 × 50 cm), Plaque: 8 × 8 in. (20.3 × 20.3 cm) Private Collection. Photo: © Artist, courtesy of the Artist and Hauser & Wirth.