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A powerful celebration of self-acceptance and sisterhood.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

One hundred black women tell their stories of learning to love their natural hair. 

Photographer/debut author Detrick-Jules was in her final semester at Brown University when she received a troubling phone call from her father. Her 4-year-old sister Khloe’s classmates had “told her that her hair was ugly—and she believed it.” The news caused “a pain, sharp and familiar.” When Detrick-Jules was younger, she too had internalized that her natural, curly hair was unattractive. It wasn’t until she was in college that she “began to love the melanin in my skin and the curls in my hair.” Thus her book was born, a message to Khloe and other black girls that their hair is just right, just as it is. The author interviewed and photographed black women of all ages and from all walks of life, who share their images and experiences in this compelling and inspirational coffee-table book. Many of their stories are heartbreaking or infuriating. Numerous women talk of the damage done to their hair and self-esteem by perms and chemical relaxers while others have spent years fielding offensive and hurtful comments about their appearances. (One woman recalls a co-worker who casually told her that “curly hair just seems so immature.”) Some reflect on the cultural and family biases against natural hair or the privilege granted to those with “good hair.” But for every painful memory, there is a strong message of self-love and acceptance. “Your hair is a work of art,” one woman says. A woman who came of age during the height of the Black Power movement explains that not straightening her hair was a way of freeing herself from Eurocentric beauty standards as well as “liberating myself from the capitalist system” by refusing to purchase fake hair made with polluting chemicals. Others discuss how their natural hair is a way of connecting with and reclaiming their African heritage by embracing an ideal of beauty that was lost during slavery. Accompanying the illuminating and stirring commentary are gorgeous color photographs of each woman, each with her own look and personality but all equally beautiful. 

A powerful celebration of self-acceptance and sisterhood.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73423-730-6

Page Count: 230

Publisher: Kenzo Productions

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020


If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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