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Noliwe M. Rooks, author of Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture and African American Women, will speak on “Wearing Your Race Right: Race, Beauty and Fashion in the Twenty-first Century” at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 27, in the auditorium of Lafayette College’s Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.

Rooks will speak in an open meeting of the distinctive Lafayette course The Politics of Fashion taught by Joshua Miller, associate professor of government and law. For more information, contact Miller at (610) 330-5402 or

Rooks is visiting assistant professor of history and African-American Studies at Princeton University. Her book Hair Raising, published by Rutgers University Press, was recognized as an outstanding academic book of 1997 by CHOICE Magazine, published by the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. It was also selected as an outstanding university press book by the Public Library Association.

She is associate editor of Paris Connections: African American Artists in Paris.1920-1975, published by Q.E.D. Press in 1992, which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1993.

Rooks is the author of many articles and essays, including the following, which are forthcoming this year: “Like Canaries in the Mines: Black Women’s Studies at the Millennium” in Feminism at the Millennium a special issue of Signs; cultural histories of “Hair” and “Hairdressing” in The Oxford Companion to the Body, from Oxford University Press; and “Wearing Your Race Wrong: A Contemporary History of African Americans at Play on a Battlefield of Adornment” in Recovering the African American Body from Rutgers University Press.

The courses she has taught at Princeton include Migration, Urban Space and African American Culture; Introduction to Black Women’s Studies; Black Popular Culture, 1850-1975; African American History Survey; Race: A Comparative History of the U.S. and South Africa, 1790-1990; and American Identity in British and American Popular Media, 1880-1950.

Prior to her appointment at Princeton she was assistant professor and director of African American Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 1994-97. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in American Studies from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in English from Spelman College.

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