FEATURE: Artist Sophia Costa explores the importance of hair to black femme identities for ‘Raízes’ exhibition

June 21, 2016

Sophia Costa’s ‘Raízes’, or ‘Roots’, exhibition highlights the importance of hair to black women and their identities. Hair in the black community is always a touchy subject, particularly when it comes to the post-colonial diminishment and shame projected onto our natural textures by white culture. ‘Raízes’ aims to visualize how black femme identity is wrapped up in the perception of hair and to reclaim self-love for and pride in natural hair and heritage. From the project: “First the iron brand violence back / After iron smooths shame in hair / In fact what is needed is playing iron out / And break all links in the chain despairs.”

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at