Re-Centering Black Pride In Americanah: A Psychoanalytic Approach To Diaspora And The Politics Of Black Hair

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Syed Sumaira Gilani , Professor Mukesh Ranjan


Hair is the most visible part of the Black body and different hairstyles suggest a varying degree of prominence in a particular society. Understanding Black feminine identity as antithetical to the white standards of feminine self, the relationship between the two embody a perceived difference on the basis of race. For African American women, hair symbolizes an artistic site where the politics of Black struggle is exercised. In their attempt to reconstruct the Black body as a central locus, the African diaspora generates a medium of creative expression highlighting the significance of Black hair as the site where the movement of resistance finds formulation. Adichie’s critically acclaimed novel Americanah foregrounds the racial prejudice against Black immigrants in America and their dilemma of “double-consciousness”. Her emphasis on the “kinky” “woolly” Black textured hair as against the white beauty ideals of straightened hair would be the point of discussion in the present research paper. The paper would invest into finding the connection between the politics of Black hair and Black feminine identity in the standard white culture of America especially in work spaces where definite codes function, thus, limiting the personal feminine vision for Black women. Hence, Susan Brownmiller’s idea of Femininity would be employed to search for the connection between the two alongside defining what it means to be a Black immigrant in the West and what psychological changes take place in order to claim for being a “wonderful fit”.

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