06-26-2017  8:28 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Multnomah County Library Hosts ‘We Refuse to Be Enemies’

Library will hold a series of social justice workshops this summer ...

The Skanner Wins NNPA Award for Best Layout and Design

Our graphic designer Patricia Irvin wins for July 2016 issues ...

Cooling Centers to open in Multnomah County Saturday, Sunday

Temperatures expected to climb into the upper 90s this weekend ...

Multnomah County Leaders Release Statement on Safety at Summer Events

Officials advise public to check in, have a plan and be aware at public events ...

Portland Musician, Educator Thara Memory Dies

Grammy-winning Trumpeter, composer, teacher died Saturday at the age of 68 ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Our Children Deserve High Quality Teachers

It’s critical that parents engage with educational leaders and demand equal access to high quality teachers ...

Civil Rights Groups Ask for Broad Access to Affordable Lending

Charlene Crowell writes that today’s public policy housing debate is also an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and...

Criminal Justice Disparities Present Barriers to Re-entry

Congressional Black Caucus Member Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) writes about the fight to reduce disparities in our criminal justice...

Bill Maher Betrayed Black Intellectuals

Armstrong Williams talks about the use of the n-word and the recent Bill Maher controversy ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles’ by Bert Ashe
Bolden / An Agate Imprint
Paperback, $15.00
252 pages
ISBN: 978-1-932841-96-1

After leading a far too conventional life for nearly 40 years, Bert Ashe began the long, arduous and uncertain process of growing dreadlocks in an attempt to step out of American convention. As his hair takes on a life of its own and gets 'twisted,' Ashe chronicles the reactions of his family, friends, strangers and colleagues—and his own frustration and bewilderment at his locked hair.

“[This book] explores black hair, in all its untamed glory, from a man's point-of-view. With humor and exacting self-reflection, Ashe uses his own experience not only to explain the history of dreadlocks, but also to unpack the complicated issues of identity, politics, gender and culture in America.

“At its heart, Twisted tells a larger story about how we seek to distinguish ourselves, about how we may long to break out of conventional ways, and how these rebellions don't always unfold according to plan.

-- Excerpted from the book jacket

twisted book coverBert Ashe was coming of age in the Seventies around the same time dreadlocks first became popular in the U.S. However, it wasn't until about a quarter-century later, in March of 1998, that he finally decided to give the Rastafarian hairstyle a go.

But, by then, Bert was a happily-married family man raising a couple of impressionable young kids. Furthermore, his wife, Valerie, hailed from a military family, so she was understandably a little worried when he started “letting it grow out.” “Does it have to look so scruffy?” she inquired, contemplating the mushrooming of an unkempt, matted mess atop her hubby's head.

Bert also had to be concerned with how the new 'do would be received by his neighbors and colleagues. After all, not only did he reside in suburban Virginia but he was also a straitlaced professor of English at the University of Richmond. Thus, he wondered whether his sporting dreadlocks might be misread by some as a counter-cultural statement, despite his otherwise orthodox appearance.

Bert's intriguing experiment in coiffures is the subject of the very entertaining Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles. Written in a delightful, stream-of-consciousness style reminiscent of the Beat Era of the 1950s, this surreal opus is essentially an introspective memoir rife with intimate reflections, offbeat asides (ala a Letterman-inspired Top 10 List), plus personal anecdotes in which you really get to know a lot about the author's eclectic background which ranged from Pee Wee football to indie movies to mosh pit punk music.

Oh yeah, and dreadlocks, too!


To order a copy of Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles, visit: http://www.powells.com/biblio/9781932841961

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