When do those few ounces of hair come to feel like the weight of the world? When a doctor advises a black woman to start an exercise program, and she wonders how she can do it without breaking a sweat. When an employer fires her for wearing a hairstyle that's "unprofessional", and she has to go to court to plead for her job. When she's with her man, and the moment she's supposed to let loose, she stops to secure her head scarf so he doesn't disturb the 'do. Tenderheaded? Definitely. All black women are, in one way or another. The issue driving the alternately provocative, comic, pregnant, and empowering writings in this unprecedented work is not merely about looking good, but about feeling adequate in a society where the beauty standards are unobtainable for most women. Tenderheaded boldly throws open the closet where black women's skeletons have been threatening to burst down the door. In poems, essays, cartoons, photos, and excerpts from novels and plays, women and men speak to the meaning hair has for them, and for society.
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