The "Touching Black Women's Hair" Phenomenon - Mini-Documentary

A little over a year ago, a group of black women caused quite a stir when they stood in New York City’s Union Square with signs that said, “You can touch my hair.”

Billed as an “interactive public art exhibit,” their event allowed anyone to “explore the tactile fascination with black hair by” touching real-life black hair on real-life black women.


Editor’s Note:
Many black people were outraged at this display, but many were encouraged and uplifted.

Some thought the women subjected themselves to being treated like animals at a petting zoo. Some thought the women were opening lines of communication with people who may not understand ethic differences but aren't bad people because of that.

Look.... We're all human and want to be treated with equal respect. However, I think the main thing here is these beautiful black women are opening themselves up to the world in order to give insight to people who are curious, as well as shed some light on how women in general feel about their hair. As one womantouching natural hair in the video said, some women are more closed off, some are very open, and some feel their hair is an extension of their spirituality or their very being, so that is why it is so closely guarded. I think it's interesting that these women are willing to give this experience to people with absolutely none of black hair. Overall, I feel that without curiosity you can never learn or grow.

But yes, there is a definite line that shouldn't be crossed. Never force your curiosity on someone, especially if you don't know them. I think one of the women in the video was correct in saying that people should make friends first or at least be in a close enough relationship/acquaintance to warrant asking about personal hygiene. Giving compliments, admiring, asking how they get their hair so shiny, those things shouldn't be so taboo though.

At the end of the day, these videos are a nice gateway to not feel so shy or like it's taboo to talk or ask questions about things that we as humans have to deal with on a day-to-day basis like hair care, skin care, fashion, lifestyle etc. Just don't go touching people all random schmandom, you might get hurt that way. Here are our video highlights:

  • Black women feel persecuted for their hair and for good reason.
  • Some people are "honestly ignorant" and those are the people tht can be helped understand the differences in human beings.
  • Hair is an emotional topic of conversation for many women.