“Uncovering the Kink Celebrating my Black Identity: Perceptions on Afro-Costa Ricans Natural Hair”

Carmen Hutchinson Miller

Abstract


It is no secret the racism within the Costa Rican society especially against people of African descent. While this racism is manifested in mostly overt ways it is nonetheless present, and continues to affect people of African descent in a myriad of ways including how they feel about their natural hair. From a very early age Afro-Costa Rican children learn to look down on their natural kink reinforced verbally and through images designed for them to hide, and dislike what is naturally theirs. As a result many embraced synthetic, and other ethnic group’s natural hair, preferring to pay any amount of money besides undergoing significant hair, and scalp ill-treatment all with the objective of hiding the natural kink. The main objective of this paper is to make visible the perceptions of Afro-Costa Ricans natural hair by both Afro, and mestizo ethnic groups, and enquire about some of the effects on people of African descent in Costa Rica. The exploratory research collected data from four focus groups of teenage mestizos, 20th century newspaper, one workshop, and questionnaires filled only by Afro-Costa Ricans.  


Keywords


Costa Rica; natural hair; racism; Afro-Costa Rican

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v5i5.943

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