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Colored No MoreReinventing Black Womanhood in Washington, D.C.$
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Treva B. Lindsey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041020

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252041020.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Make Me Beautiful

Make Me Beautiful

Aesthetic Discourses of New Negro Womanhood

(p.52) 2 Make Me Beautiful
Colored No More

Treva B. Lindsey

University of Illinois Press

This chapter closely engages African American beauty culture. Advertisements for beauty products such as hair pomades and skin bleaches comprised a significant portion of advertisements in African American newspapers throughout the early twentieth century. The advertisements for beauty products targeting African American women unveil a discourse and an industry that were instrumental to the materialization of a New Negro culture. Through advertisements and open discussions about African American beauty, self-presentation and adornment shifted from an individual/private sphere issue to a formidable public culture site of individual and collective expressivity during the New Negro era. African American beauty culture thrived as a site of reinvention and re-imagining for New Negro women. It also offered multiple authorial roles in which these women could partake, including: producer, consumer, and manufacturer. In Washington, this black women’s beauty culture was a thriving industry as well as a battleground and playground for black women actualizing themselves as New Negro women.

Keywords:   hair, black women, black press, skin bleaching, elitism, colorism, Washington, D.C, beauty, modernity, commerce, Jim Crow, culture industries, white supremacy, commodity

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