Though textured hair goes by many names, reminiscent of curly, kinky, or coily, nappy hair is particularly used when talking concerning the hair of black folks. The time period has traditionally been a racist time period.
The phrase nappy is evidenced since at the least the 1880s, an adjective type of nap, a time period for the raised fibers on a cloth. Nappy, then, could have originated in pejorative reference to the frizzy texture of cotton picked and ready by slaves.
Through the 20th century, many black Individuals embraced African aesthetics, together with the very pure hair many whites beforehand disparaged as nappy. By the 1990s, nappy hair was seeing rising use in fashionable black media—and reclamation, particularly by black girls. Aliona L. Gibson revealed a memoir, Nappy: Rising Up Black and Feminine in America, in 1995, and Carolivia Herron revealed a kids’s ebook, Nappy Hair, in 1997.
Even because the pure hair motion was underway amongst black girls within the 2000s, nappy hair nonetheless carried a robust racist and misogynist drive, particularly within the mouth of non-black lady. In 2007, radio persona Don Imus brought about outrage when he referred to as the Rutgers College girls’s basketball workforce “nappy-headed hoes.” His remarks led to the cancellation of his present.
Regardless of such situations, black girls proceed to reclaim the phrase. Many pure hair blogs and YouTubers incorporate nappy of their social-media handles and in any other case use the phrase in a optimistic method for their very own hair.