Toronto Metropolitan University
Homer_Jasmine.pdf (1.01 MB)

Afros, activism,and affinity: the politicization of black natural hair, racism and a sense of belonging in the Greater Toronto area

Download (1.01 MB)
posted on 2021-05-21, 16:24 authored by Jasmine Homer
This research study explores the natural hair textures of six Black/mixed-race women as a symbol of activism in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where natural Black hair continues to be discriminated against in public and private spheres. While all six women experienced racism in the GTA, intergenerational knowledge from family played a larger role in shaping their negative perceptions of their own hair, and how members of the dominant group may perceive their hair. Their experiences were assessed alongside their opinions on Canada’s well-known Multiculturalism Act (1982, c.24) which seeks to preserve and enhance multiculturalism. While all six women believe that cultural celebrations (e.g. Caribana, Taste of the Danforth, etc.) are a demonstration of The Act in play, they all find that The Act is ineffective in bridging the gap between ideology and practice, and therefore does not facilitate social inclusion between members of the dominant group and racialized ‘Others’. Key Words: Racism in Toronto; Natural Hair; Activism; Multiculturalism Act; Social Inclusion





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP