NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1068627
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
"Doing Hair" and Literacy in an Afterschool Reading and Writing Workshop for African-American Adolescent Girls
Edwards, Daneell
Afterschool Matters, n4 p42-50 Spr 2005
The term "doing hair" is utterly familiar. However, while the term can refer to simple acts of combing, brushing, washing, and styling hair, in the culture of adolescent African-American girls, doing hair is a social practice that represents power, creativity, and sometimes popularity. This article describes a three-month afterschool reading and writing workshop for African-American adolescent girls that focused on doing hair. The workshop, which the author facilitated as part of the research study described in this article, had four main objectives: (1) To provide African-American adolescent girls with the opportunity to talk, read, and write about a cultural topic that is typically not sanctioned in school; (2) To promote critical thinking by inviting the girls to examine why hair matters to them and to view hair from cultural, historical, and socio-political perspectives; (3) To encourage the girls to reflect on their reading and writing experiences about hair; and (4) To give the girls an opportunity to share their knowledge with others. In the process of meeting these goals, the workshop provided participants with the opportunity to engage in literacy activities centered around a topic near and dear to their hearts. When allowed, at least partially, to direct their own reading and writing around a topic that mattered to them, the girls showed clear interest and engagement in such activities, to an extent that suggests that school educators, community members, and afterschool providers would do well to acknowledge the interest of African-American girls in doing hair.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A