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Encyclopedia > Afro
Woman with an afro at the Tribeca Film Festival

An afro, sometimes called a "natural" or shortened to "fro", is a hairstyle in which the hair extends out from the head like a halo, cloud or ball. This may or may not include wearing such afros long, to several times the diameter of the head. An afro requires very curly hair. Anyone of any ethnic background is capable of growing an afro if they have very curly hair. For people of African descent, the spiraling, tightly coiled curls can be straightened out somewhat, giving the hair added volume and length, by first braiding the hair, then separating the coils using an "afro pick". The afro pick is an adaptation of a traditional African grooming instrument,[1] which is essentially a narrow comb with long, widely spaced teeth. Similarly, added volume can be achieved using an afro pick in combination with the heat from a hand-held hair dryer. The effect is called a blowout. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 451 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (709 × 942 pixel, file size: 411 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) // File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 451 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (709 × 942 pixel, file size: 411 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) // File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal 2005 The TriBeCa Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro in a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the consequent loss of vitality in the TriBeCa neighborhood in Manhattan. ... Afro Basaldella (March 4, 1912 in Udine - July 24, 1976 in Zurich) was an Italian painter. ... The afro is the proposed official currency of the Afrozone (also known as the Afro Area or the Afro Land), which consists of the African states of Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the... “Haircut” redirects here. ... For the 1968 stage production, see Hair (musical), for the 1979 film, see Hair (film). ... “Human Head” redirects here. ... It has been suggested that Moon dog be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Cloud (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Ball (disambiguation). ... A comb A comb for people with hair loss. ...



Writer Nikki Giovanni has a classic afro in this photo.

The ancient Egyptians were known at times to wear so-called Nubian wigs in something resembling this style. The racist term "Fuzzy Wuzzy" was applied by British soldiers to the Sudanese because of this hairstyle. In the late nineteenth century a style very similar to the modern Afro was also associated with the Circassian beauties exhibited by P.T. Barnum. These were presented as "the purest example of the white race."[2] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (512x768, 45 KB) Portriat of Nikki Giovanni by Elsa Dorfman File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (512x768, 45 KB) Portriat of Nikki Giovanni by Elsa Dorfman File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Yolande Cornelia Nikki Giovanni (born June 7, 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee) is a Grammy-nominated American poet, activist and author. ... Map of Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was the civilization of the Nile Valley between about 3000 BC and the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. As a civilization based on irrigation it is the quintessential example of an hydraulic empire. ... Kiya wearing a Nubian wig A Nubian wig is a form of headdress worn by ancient Egyptians which is thought to imitate the thick hairstyles of the Nubian peoples (of modern Sudan), who were at various times incorporated into the Egyptian kingdom. ... The Fuzzy Wuzzies were 19th century warriors of the Sudanese Mahdi. ... As a sideshow attraction, Circassian beauties were women with big hair. ... Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891), American showman who is best remembered for his entertaining hoaxes and for founding the circus that eventually became Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. ...

The modern style dates to the 1960s. In 1963, actress Cicely Tyson sported cornrows or a "TWA" (a "teeny, weeny afro") in the popular network television series East Side, West Side. Jimi Hendrix became one of the first popular entertainers to have a large afro. Natural hairstyles, including the afro, also had political connotations with Malcolm X calling conked hair "a step towards self-degradation". The afro style was a repudiation of the use of hair straighteners to mimic the straightness of Caucasian hair. The afro gained popularity during the late 1960s and 1970s, in connection with the growth of the Black Pride and Black Power political movements, and the emergence of blaxploitation films and disco music. Among Blacks, afros were considered a proclamation of "Black is Beautiful!", a popular slogan of the time. They became symbols of race pride; progressive, often leftist political leanings; and militancy. In northern and western states Afros were seen popularly worn in poor neighborhoods such as Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Watts as early as 1965 and 1966. In the southern United States however, it was not a popular hairstyle until 1969 and 1970. However, during the later half of the 1970s, the style passed into the cultural mainstream and for many people became simply a fashion that sometimes even Caucasian men (and women) with looser, less curly hair adopted. Cicely Tyson (born December 19, 1933) is an Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated American actress. ... Cornrows on a male Cornrows are a traditional style of hair grooming of African origin where the hair is tightly braided very close to the scalp, using an underhand, upward motion to produce a continuous, raised row. ... Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter. ... Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, also known as Detroit Red and Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Omaha, Nebraska, May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965 in New York City) was a Muslim Minister and National Spokesman for the Nation of Islam. ... This photograph features R&B musician James Brown with a conk. ... For the peoples actually from the Caucasus, see Peoples of the Caucasus. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... Black Power is a slogan which describes the aspiration of many Africans (whether they be in Africa or abroad) to national self-determination. ... ‹ The template below is being considered for deletion. ... Shaft (1971) Blaxploitation is a film genre that emerged in the United States in the early 1970s when many exploitation films were made that targeted the urban African American audience; the word itself is a portmanteau of the words “black” and “exploitation. ... Discothèque redirects here. ... “Leftism” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Harlem (disambiguation). ... Bedford Stuyvesant (aka Bed-Stuy) is a neighborhood in central Brooklyn, New York City. ... Watts is a residential district in southern Los Angeles, California. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... Historic Southern United States. ... Also: 1969 (Stargate SG-1) episode. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ...


The term has its roots in the 1960s and 1970s when many prominent figures were described as sporting the hairstyle. The Los Angeles Times called college football star Scott Marcus a flower child with “golden brown hair... in ringlets around his head in what he calls a Jewish afro style”.[3] This just IN !!!:paris hiltons new dog. ... Flower child originated as a synonym for hippie, for their custom of wearing flowers to symbolize peace and love. ... For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ...

The New York Times in a 1971 article on Harvard’s “hairy” basketball team, wrote that Captain Brian Newmark, “hasn’t had a haircut since last May and his friends have suggested his hairdo is a first cousin to the Afro...in the case of the Jewish Junior from Brooklyn, though, the bushy dark hair that is piled high on his head has been called an Isro." [4] Novelist Judith Rossner was described in a Chicago Tribune profile as the “grown-up Wunderkind with an open, oval face framed by a Jewish Afro."[5] The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. ... Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... This article is about the sport. ... This article is about the borough of New York City. ... Judith Rossner (March 31, 1935 - August 9, 2005) was an American novelist, best known for her 1975 novel Looking for Mr. ... // The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois and owned by the Tribune Company. ...

Heeb Magazine, an irreverent Jewish review, published a photo-spread on the "Jewfro" in its first issue and cited Albert Einstein and Bob Dylan as precursors of the style. Other examples of people who have had Jewfros are Gabe Kaplan, Dustin Diamond, Brad Delson, Michael Diamond, Neil Diamond, Larry David, Tom Baker, Art Garfunkel, Michael Einziger, Simon Amstell, Howard Stern, Joe Trohman, Matt Stone, Gene Wilder, Victor Garber, Lou Reed, Abbie Hoffman, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. Interestingly, The Encyclopedia of Pop Culture has claimed that the Afro lost favor with African Americans when Jews adopted the style.[6] Crimes of the Passion issue Heeb is a Jewish magazine aimed at young intellectual Jews. ... “Einstein” redirects here. ... This article is about the recording artist. ... Gabriel Gabe Kaplan (born March 31, 1945) is an American actor, comedian and professional poker player. ... Dustin Diamond (born Dustin Neil Diamond on January 7, 1977 in San Jose, California) is an actor, musician and stand-up comedian best known for his role as Samuel Screech Powers on the television show Saved by the Bell. ... Bradford Phillip Delson (born December 1, 1977, in Los Angeles, California), is the lead guitarist for the band Linkin Park. ... Michael Diamond, also known as Mike D (born November 20, 1965), is a founding member of New York hip hop trio the Beastie Boys. ... Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter and sometime Actor. ... Lawrence Gene Larry David (born July 2, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York) is an Emmy-winning actor, writer, comedian, producer and film director. ... For other persons named Tom Baker, see Tom Baker (disambiguation). ... Art Garfunkel in Bad Timing (1980) Arthur Ira Garfunkel (born November 5, 1941) is an American white gollywog and actor, best known as half of the folk duo Simon and Garfunkel. ... Mike Einziger Michael Aaron Einziger (born 21 June 1976) in Los Angeles, is the multi-instrumentalist co-writer and guitarist of the alternative rock band Incubus. ... Simon Gordon Amstell (born 29 November, 1979) is an openly gay English comedian and television presenter. ... This article is a biography of Howard Stern as an individual; for information regarding his radio show see The Howard Stern Show. ... Joseph Mark Trohman (born September 1, 1984) is the lead guitarist for the Chicago-based band Fall Out Boy. ... Matthew Richard Matt Stone (born May 26, 1971) is an American animator, screenwriter, film director, voice actor and actor. ... Gene Wilder (born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1933) is an American comedic actor who is perhaps best known for his role as Willy Wonka and his collaborations with Mel Brooks, most notably Blazing Saddles, The Producers, and Young Frankenstein, and his many movies with Richard Pryor, including Silver Streak... Victor Joseph Garber (born on March 16, 1949 in London, Ontario, Canada) is a six-time Emmy Award-nominated Canadian film, stage and television actor and singer. ... Lewis Reed[1] (born March 2, 1942) is an American rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. ... Abbott Howard Abbie Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was a self-identified communo-anarchist,[1] social and political activist in the United States, co-founder of the Youth International Party (Yippies), and later, a fugitive from the law, who lived under an alias following a conviction for dealing... Seth Rogen (born April 15, 1982 in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a Canadian actor, comedian, and Emmy-nominated writer. ... Jonah Hill (born December 20, 1983[1]) is an American actor, screenwriter, and producer. ...

Pop culture

The use of Afros in popular culture can be seen here with Lauryn Hill, wearing an Afro wig during a performance in Central Park. Hill used this wig in several performances in 2005.[7]

Today afros are used in popular culture for comedic effect, especially in comedies from the '90s era due to their unique dimensions. A common joke involves the hiding of objects in the person's hair. In the movie Leprechaun in the Hood, for instance, a character played by Ice-T pulls a baseball bat from his afro; this scene is a satire of a similar scene in the blaxploitation classic Foxy Brown, in which Pam Grier hides a revolver in her afro. Another Grier film, Coffy (1973) depicted a scene where she plants razor blades in her afro before a catfight scene. One character in the late-1970's The Super Globetrotters animated cartoon series retrieved absurdly large objects from his afro, including a proverbial kitchen sink. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 580 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (624 × 645 pixel, file size: 437 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 580 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (624 × 645 pixel, file size: 437 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Lauryn Noel Hill-Marley (born May 25, 1975) is an American vocalist, singer, rapper, musician, record producer and film actress. ... Central Park is a large public, urban park (843 acres, 3. ... The cover of Leprechaun: In the Hood Leprechaun: In the Hood is a film directed by Rob Spera released in 2000. ... Tracy Marrow (born February 16, 1958)[1], better known by stage name Ice-T, is an American rapper, rock musician, author, former United States Army soldier, and actor. ... Foxy Brown movie poster Foxy Brown is a blaxploitation film from 1974, written and directed by Jack Hill. ... Pamela Suzette Grier (born May 26, 1949) is an iconic American actress. ... Coffy , Jack Hills 1973 movie about an African American woman vigilante, catapulted Pam Grier to stardom as one of blaxploitations biggest icons. ... The subject of this article may not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... Eugene Killer Edgerson of the Harlem Globetrotters goes up for a slam dunk The Harlem Globetrotters are a comic basketball team that combines athleticism and comedy to create one of the best-known sports franchises in the world. ...

Another kind of afro joke is seen in a '70s flashback sequence of the Leslie Nielsen comedy Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult, where Nordberg (played by O.J. Simpson) sports an afro so large that he's unable to walk through a door. One of Victoria Principal's films (Earthquake) featured her character in an "afro", and the James Bond film Moonraker depicted a scene with a member of Drax's master race sporting an "afro". The Scarface remake (1983) featured Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio with an Afro. Afros often pop up in anime with characters such as Nabeshin and Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, both of whom seemingly derive mystical powers from their afros. In One Piece, Monkey D. Luffy sports an Afro during his fight with Foxy the Silver Fox. Additionally, Noboru Yamaguchi of the series Cromartie High School sports an afro which seems to change in size and consistency during a scene. This kind of haircut also appears in the anime Sgt. Frog as the main focus of the first ending theme song. Afro Samurai is also a more recent show (adapted from a manga series), notably voiced by famous American actor Samuel L. Jackson. In literature and film, a flashback (also called analepsis) takes the narrative back in time from the point the story has reached, to recount events that happened before and give the back-story. ... Leslie William Nielsen OC (born February 11, 1926) is a Canadian born American comedian and actor. ... Orenthal James Simpson (born July 9, 1947), commonly known as O. J. Simpson and also just by his initials O.J. and his nickname The Juice, is a retired American football player who achieved stardom at the collegiate and professional levels. ... Victoria Principal (born January 3, 1950[1] in Fukuoka, Japan) is an American actress, best known for her role as Larry Hagmans sister-in-law and Patrick Duffys wife, Pamela Barnes Ewing, Pam, on the long-running CBS nighttime drama Dallas from 1978 to 1987. ... Earthquake is a 1974 disaster film that was among several box-office successful disaster films of the 1970s that places a recognizable all-star cast in life and death situations. ... Moonraker is a 1979 spy film. ... Scarface is a 1983 film directed by Brian De Palma, written by Oliver Stone and starring Al Pacino as Antonio Tony Montana. ... Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (born November 17, 1958 in Lombard, Illinois) is an American actress and singer of Italian descent. ... “Animé” redirects here. ... Shinichi Watanabe (Japanese: ワタナベシンイチ, Watanabe Shinichi) is a director of anime. ... It has been suggested that Shinsetsu Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo be merged into this article or section. ... Serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump Monthly Shonen Jump Original run August 4, 1997 – (ongoing) Volumes 47 volumes with 473 chapters TV anime Director Konosuke Uda Munehisa Sakai Studio Toei Animation Network Fuji TV GMA 7 Original run October 20, 1999 – (ongoing) Episodes 325 (current) OVA: Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzak... Monkey D. Luffy ) is a fictional character and leading protagonist in the anime and manga series One Piece by Eiichiro Oda. ... Foxy the Silver Fox (銀ギツネのフォクシー Gin-gitsune no FokushÄ«) is a fictional pirate captain in the anime and manga One Piece. ... Serialized in Shonen Magazine Original run February 16, 2001 – November 17, 2004 No. ... “Keroro” redirects here. ... Afro Samurai ) is a Japanese dōjinshi manga series created by Takashi Okazaki, originally featured in the NOU NOU HAU [2] dōjin magazine. ... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... “Samuel Jackson” redirects here. ...

The first series of UK TV programme Trigger Happy TV often featured a sketch in which Dom Joly wore a ridiculously large afro wig and then stood in such a way that the wig would obscure a member of the public's view of something—London landmarks such as the Palace of Westminster were often chosen. The sketch was also performed in a cinema, where Joly entered and sat in front of someone; making them unable to see the screen. The person was then seen to move to a seat in front of Joly, apparently complaining whilst doing so. As soon as the person sat down, Joly removed the wig to cause further annoyance. Trigger Happy TV is a British hidden camera television show, created, produced by and starring Dom Joly, originally aired on the British television channel Channel 4. ... Dominic John Joly (born 15 November 1968)[1] is an award-winning British television comedian and journalist. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... “Houses of Parliament” redirects here. ...

Eric Clapton, center, with his permed afro.

In 1966, after the arrival of Jimi Hendrix in London, Cream guitarist Eric Clapton had his hair permed to resemble Hendrix's afro. Image File history File links CreamGold. ... Image File history File links CreamGold. ... Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter. ... Cream were a classic 1960s British rock band, which consisted of guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. ... Eric Patrick Clapton CBE (born 30 March 1945), nicknamed Slowhand, is a Grammy Award winning English guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. ...

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Big hair is a term that can refer to hairstyles that emphasize large volume or largely styled hair. ... Cornrows on a male Cornrows are a traditional style of hair grooming of African origin where the hair is tightly braided very close to the scalp, using an underhand, upward motion to produce a continuous, raised row. ... Dreadlocks, sometimes called simply locks or dreads, are matted ropes of hair which will form by themselves if the hair is allowed to grow naturally without the use of brushes, combs, razors or scissors for a long period of time. ... This article is about the hairstyle. ...


  1. ^ Example of a traditional African comb
  2. ^ The Circassian beauty archiveGallery of images of Circassian beauties
  3. ^ Dan Hafner, "Louisville's 'Flower Child'; Barefooted Punter Arrives in Shoes and Mod Outfit", Los Angeles Times, Dec 17, 1970. Sec III, pg. G1.
  4. ^ Murray Chass, "Harvard's Hairy Five Makes Some Foes Bristle", The New York Times, February 28, 1971, pg. S4.
  5. ^ Stephen E Rubin, "Tempo; Judith Rossner's novel success is hard to put down", Chicago Tribune, September 17, 1977, pg. 11.
  6. ^ The Encyclopedia of Pop Culture cited in Diane Carol Bailey, Angelo P. Thrower, Basic Care for Naturally Textured Hair: Cultivating Curly, Coily, and Kinky Hair, Delmar Thomson Learning: 2001, pg. 4.
  7. ^ The Fugees, Hammersmith Apollo, December 15, 2005. Retrieved on May 28, 2007.

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