272 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 26 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2515-7
Published: October 2015
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2516-4
Published: September 2015
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3613-9
Published: August 2017
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Awards & distinctions
2016 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award, Organization of American Historians
In this thought-provoking book, Tanisha C. Ford explores how and why black women in places as far-flung as New York City, Atlanta, London, and Johannesburg incorporated style and beauty culture into their activism. Focusing on the emergence of the “soul style” movement—represented in clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, and more—Liberated Threads shows that black women’s fashion choices became galvanizing symbols of gender and political liberation. Drawing from an eclectic archive, Ford offers a new way of studying how black style and Soul Power moved beyond national boundaries, sparking a global fashion phenomenon. Following celebrities, models, college students, and everyday women as they moved through fashion boutiques, beauty salons, and record stores, Ford narrates the fascinating intertwining histories of Black Freedom and fashion.
About the Author
Tanisha C. Ford is associate professor of Black American studies and history at the University of Delaware.
For more information about Tanisha C. Ford, visit the Author Page.
“Creates a fierce and vibrant dialog on the rarely recounted women's perspective on black style, beauty, and soul."--Library Journal, starred review
“A welcome addition to historical studies of civil rights and black power.”--Journal of American History
“Adds important elements to the conversation on resistance. . . . Highly recommended.”--Choice
“The moving testimonies Ford presents of the black women who lived through soul style’s heyday are proof that activist scholarship motivated by personal experience provides powerful contributions to the field of history.”--Journal of Southern History
“Ambitious and wide-ranging. . . . Makes a powerful and convincing case for how black women practiced the politics of civil rights, black power, and anticolonialism by crafting new, self-affirming appearances and fashions.”--American Historical Review
"This book skillfully weaves together black women's political culture, fashion, and transnational cultural exchange, emphasizing the complexities of soul style. Ford’s wonderful prose brings her sources to life. A stellar achievement."--Noliwe Rooks, Cornell University
Multimedia & Links
Follow the author on Twitter @SoulistaPhD.