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Virginia Tech

1. Thompson, Joy Janetta. The Return: Understanding why Black Women Choose to "Go Natural".

Degree: MS, Sociology, 2018, Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study is to analyze and understand why some Black women in Greensboro, North Carolina have made the decision to wear their hair naturally, in its original kinky, curly, non-straightened form. I’ve chosen this topic because “in our society, long straight hair has generally been considered the gold standard for attractiveness” (Rosette & Dumas, 2007, p. 410) and by deviating from that gold standard, Black women are affected, personally and politically. In my perspective, it is important to understand why a woman would opt to make this choice, knowing the potential backlash she faces (i.e. losing her job, rejection in a romantic relationship, or school suspension). To facilitate this purpose, the guiding research inquiries included 10 questions about the woman’s hair journey, at different stages of her life: before perming, while perming, and going natural. In speaking with 10 women from three different generations, I found that the process of going natural is at once complex and simple, is simultaneously gradual and instant, both terrifying and liberating. Ultimately, I learned that even though various factors play a part in this process, “going natural” is a decision mostly directed and determined by the woman standing in the mirror. Advisors/Committee Members: Harrison, Anthony Kwame (committeechair), Precoda, Karl R. (committee member), Samanta, Suchitra (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: Black girl magic; Africana Diaspora; Natural Hair; Natural Beauty; Black Hair; Going Natural; Black women; Greensboro; North Carolina; Perms; Relaxers

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Thompson, J. J. (2018). The Return: Understanding why Black Women Choose to "Go Natural". (Masters Thesis). Virginia Tech. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10919/95891

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Thompson, Joy Janetta. “The Return: Understanding why Black Women Choose to "Go Natural".” 2018. Masters Thesis, Virginia Tech. Accessed January 25, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/10919/95891.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Thompson, Joy Janetta. “The Return: Understanding why Black Women Choose to "Go Natural".” 2018. Web. 25 Jan 2021.

Vancouver:

Thompson JJ. The Return: Understanding why Black Women Choose to "Go Natural". [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Virginia Tech; 2018. [cited 2021 Jan 25]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10919/95891.

Council of Science Editors:

Thompson JJ. The Return: Understanding why Black Women Choose to "Go Natural". [Masters Thesis]. Virginia Tech; 2018. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10919/95891

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