08-21-2017  4:48 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Announces $192M Settlement for Student Loan Debt

358 Oregonians will get 100 percent loan forgiveness ...

'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Screens at New Performing Arts Center, Federal Way

Free screening follows the day after official ribbon cutting of the arts center ...

Join a Book Club at Your Neighborhood Library

At North Portland Library, Pageturners Black Voices focuses on books written by and about African and African American authors ...

Meeting of the NE Community Development Oversight Committee

The fourth meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 23 ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

SEIU’s President: No Place for White Supremacists in the White House

Mary Kay Henry makes following statement on Trump’s remarks after violence in Charlottesville ...

It’s Time to Show “Middle Neighborhoods” Love, Before It’s too Late

Middle Neighborhoods, School Rehabilitation and Food Insecurity are key action items for the policy agenda of the CBC. ...

Despite Unequal Treatment, Black Women Will Rise

NNPA Newswire Columnist Julianne Malveaux talks about Black Women’s Equal Pay Day ...

PCC Cascade President on Free Tuition Program

Any student who qualifies for the Oregon Promise can attend most in-state community colleges tuition-free ...

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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