Ain't I a Beauty Queen?

Ain't I a Beauty Queen? : Culture, Social Movements, and the Politics of Race

4.12 (33 ratings by Goodreads)
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Ain't I A Beauty Queen? is a study of black women as symbols, and as participants, in the reshaping of the meaning of black racial identity. The meanings and pracices of racial identity are continually reshaped as a result of the interplay of actions taken at the individual and institutional levels. In chapters that detail the history of pre-Civil Rights Movement black beauty pageants, later efforts to integrate beauty contests, and the transformation in beliefs and practices relating to black beauty in the 1960s, the book develops a model for understanding social processes of racial change. It places changing black hair practices and standards of beauty in historical context and shows the powerful role social movements have had in reshaping the texture of everyday life. The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements led a generation to question hair straightening and to establish a new standard of beauty that was summed up in the words "black is beautiful". Through oral history interviews with Civil Rights and Black Power Movement activists and ordinary women, the author documents the meaning of these changes in black women's more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195142675
  • 9780195142679

About Maxine Craig

Maxine Leeds Craig is Assistant Professor of Sociology and director of the graduate program in Sociology at California State University, more

Review quote

Maxine Leeds Craig masterfully blends archival research and interviews to explore the changing meanings of black female beauty and to place these changes in the context of race, gender, and class politics. * American Journal of Sociology * The book is impeccably researched and written, pulling together a wide range of materials into a coherent and convincing argument. It should be read by anyone interested in social movements, cultural change, racial politics, gender, or the sociology of the body. * American Journal of Sociology *show more

Table of contents

1. Ridicule and Celebration: Black Women as Symbols in the Rearticulation of Race ; 2. Contexts for the Emergence of Black is Beautiful ; 3. Ain't I a Beauty Queen?: Representing the Ideal Black Women ; 4. Standing (in Heels) For My People ; 5. How Black Became Popular: Social Movements and Racial Rearticulation ; 6. Yvonne's Wig: Gender and the Racialized Body ; 7. Pride and Shame: Black Women as Symbols of the "Middle Class" ; 8. The Appearance of Unity ; 9. An Ongoing Dialogueshow more

Rating details

33 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 39% (13)
4 39% (13)
3 15% (5)
2 6% (2)
1 0% (0)
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