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Feb. 10, 2004
DH 04 TK011
Contact: Thomas Knox
(310) 243-3367


Noted Author Pamela Johnson to Speak and Sign Books at CSU Dominguez Hills for African American History Month

Former Essence magazine editor will discuss her views on the evolution of black hair

Carson, CA – California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) continues its observance of African American History Month as noted author Pamela Johnson discusses and signs copies of her book, Tenderheaded: A Comb-Binding Collection of Hair Stories, on Wednesday, Feb. 11, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Claudia Hampton Lecture Hall in Welch Hall. The book, co-edited by Juliette Harris of Hampton University, is a collection of hair stories that takes “its roots” from the author’s love of hair designs for African American women.

Johnson has delivered presentations on the evolution of black hair and styles from 200 B.C. to 2000 A.D. “I’m exploring the head as the place on the body that we most often choose to adorn ourselves, from the Queen of England to the round-the-way queens of Compton,” Johnson said. “I’m gonna work Tupac Shakur, Aunt Jemima and the controversial head rag into this presentation.

“I’m passionate about and fascinated by black hair,” Johnson said. “I always loved the Supremes and their big wigs. I envied Angela Davis’ Afro, and I made wicked jokes about drippy jheri curls, even though I myself once had one. So I thought it would be a kick to fill a book with all the interesting stories about black hair as well as pictures that dated back to Ancient Greece.”

A former editor of Essence magazine, Johnson compiled more than 20 years as a journalist working in newspapers, magazines and television. She still frequently contributes to Essence magazine.

“The spirit of African American History Month pays tribute to our [African American] brilliance. Aside from all our great leaders and invaluable contribution to the foundation of this country, I often think of how much we set the tone stylistically,” Johnson said.

The book signing and speaking is free and open to the public. Parking is available on campus for $2, which can be purchased from special kiosks inside the entrance to the lot at the intersection of Victoria Street and Tamcliff Avenue.

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Last updated Friday, February 6, 2004, 4:38 pm, by Stephanie Brown (sb)