The 2nd TRAUMA, TRESSES, & TRUTH: A Natural Hair Conference

August 4th - 6th, 2023

Cover illustration by Dubelyoo

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2021 inaugural conference! Though a San Francisco-based production, we were surprised and delighted to welcome attendees from across the Bay Area, state, the nation, and three countries! We also appreciate attendees who completed the event evaluations. Our most popular panels were Race, Stigma, and the Politics of Black Hair, Natural Hair and the Cultural Violence of Identity Erasure, How Natural Black Hair Became A Civil Rights Issue, and Is Hair Discrimination Race Discrimination? The scarf-tying workshop was also popular, as were the hair care webinar and the keynote, The Decolonization of Hair.

Thanks to funding support from Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Black Artist Foundry, California Arts Council, and The Awesome Foundation, we are pleased to announce there will be a second conference in 2023, running August 4th, 5th, and 6th. This conference examines the perception, policing, persecution, and politics of African American and Afro Latina women’s natural hair in American society. Attendees will choose from a menu of readings, panels, webinars, and workshops discussing the muted but invasive means by which society shames our natural hair from infancy through adulthood. There will be scarf-tying, creative writing, and meditation workshops as well! Stop by the Coffee Lounges between sessions to meet and visit with your fellow attendees.

Interested in ordering the related book? Pick it up at your favorite local independent bookstore, or order online from:

*Chicago Review Press (our publisher)


*Book Depository




*Barnes & Noble


Add the book to your Goodreads "Want to read" list.


August 08, 2021, 10:00 PM

Conference Kickoff!

August 07, 2021, 06:00 PM

Kara Rota Lyzette Wanzer Amy Kweskin Anuj Nijhawan
Poetry & Essay Readings

August 09, 2021, 12:00 AM

Raina J. León Dr. Regis Fox Barbara Ruth Sanders Dr. Shatima J. Jones
Pre-Haircare Webinar BREAKROOM OPEN

August 08, 2021, 01:45 AM


Build your schedule from panels, readings, webinars, and workshop sessions!

In July 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the CROWN Act into law, making California the first state in the country to ban discrimination against people based on their natural hair. Los Angeles Senator (now Los Angeles BOS member Holly Mitchell) introduced the bill to “protect the right of Black Californians to…wear their hair in its natural form, without pressure to conform to Eurocentric norms.” This first-ever Trauma, Tresses, & Truth conference occurred in August 2021, and was especially timely in light of summer 2020’s racial justice movement, which  surfaced--even more--the precarity of Black lives. We are pleased to bring you this second iteration of the conference on August 4, 5, and 6, 2023!

Meet the 2023 speakers (Coming soon!)

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