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HAIRITAGE: BEAUTY, CULTURE, AND AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN Nicole Williams Syracuse University Information Management Graduate Program IST 676

– Beauty, Culture, and African American Women

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A project plan for a digital library focused on african american hair and how it has shaped our historical viewpoint and how we can change itl.

Text of – Beauty, Culture, and African American Women

  • HAIRITAGE: BEAUTY, CULTURE, AND AFRICANAMERICAN WOMEN Nicole Williams Syracuse University Information Management Graduate Program IST 676
  • RESEARCH FINDINGS The research I found included views such as this:This research was conducted to understand why African American women feelthey need to not wear their hair naturally. The question I began with is: Why are African American women raised to change their hair from its natural state? As the research progressed the question of what is natural and what is not natural arose. Ifound that a distinct minority of women do not consider braids nor afros natural.The womens reasoning for this is that they must still care for their hair, oiling it, shaping it, and detangling it. Even when they wear braids the hair must be manipulated into a complicated arrangement that looks semi-natural. Natural haircan be defined as hair having been unaltered by chemicals and therefore does not have a straight look but is tightly coiled or kinky in nature and appearance (White 2005). Generally, African American women have had their hair chemically altered from its natural state starting around six to eight years old, and braiding begins
  • RESEARCH FINDINGS (CONTINUED)Akin to the civil rights movement and the womens liberation movement that support each respective minority, the natural hair movement is gaining momentum which, unlike many of your usual trends, will remain intact for years to come and only continue to rise. While many trends will fade, natural hair will remain. The only thing that has changed is how natural hair is perceived and in many cases, how well its received. (Forcoloredgirls.com)Black female discussants on an Internet site devoted to Black hair care described negative comments from family with respect to decisions to wear their hair in its natural texture, which often concerned their ability to attract mates and obtain jobs, especially in the corporate world and professions. (Davis)
  • GOALS/OBJECTIVES OF THE DIGITAL LIBRARY1. My objective is to provide a digital library service that will provide a place to learn, embrace, and care for African American hair. The goals of this digital library service are to:2. A healthy, positive discussion on African American hair (my research suggest we need this)3. De-politicize natural hair4. Combat misinformation about African American hair5. Emphasize that African American hair is beautiful6. Provide instructions and how-tos on hair care, maintenance, styling, and product and product reviews7. Provide information to book and literature on black hair8. Provide a calendar of events for locations around the country and have subscribers to the site post events in their areas
  • AFRICAN AMERICAN HAIRSTATS Black hair care is a 684 million dollar industry and much market research is conducted to measure the popularity of trends in black hair. One study conducted on Design Essentials said one in four women no longer chemical relaxed their hair, and that sales of hair relaxers decreased by 17 percent. The term natural hair was searched on Google 1.2 million times for the month of November, and the term about African American hair was searched on Google 823,000 times in November. (https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/ Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=100000 0000&__o=kt&ideaRequestType=KEYW ORD_IDEAS)
  • WHY HAIRITAGE?Internet access makes it easy to explore and finding information. The Hairitage Digital Library Project will provide a setting for information surrounding the knowledge and acceptance of African American hair needs to be mainstream and integrated in a location that weaves together research, learning, discovery, opportunities, participation, understanding, and benefits to the community. These information needs include: research in the historical perspective of African American hair, the thoughts and discussions on the topic, and research findings from inside and outside the African American community, learning about hair, hair texture, care, maintenance and styling, discovery of the historical perspective of our hair from slavery to modern day acceptance, opportunities in the community, participation in discussion boards, meet-ups, hair events, etc., and understanding, acceptance, and loving our hair. Users of the site would search styling options, best products for their hair type, and view step-by-step demonstrations on how to use those products.
  • IMPLEMENTATION PLAN Library Interface The first phase of the library interface will be web page interface using XHTML, cascading styles sheets, and the usage of flash when appropriate. The usage of XHTML and cascading style sheets will allow the website to be modern enough for most users to access the site without the use of high level devices and software to access the page. The second phase will call for an upgrade for smart phone and tablet users, providing an app and usage of high level graphical user interface, transitioning from XHTML to XML to RDF stylesheets, and using a scalable system such as service oriented architecture (SOA).
  • IMPLEMENTATION PLANMetadataAll data including images and video will be catalogue in a backend database and tagged with the appropriate keywords for indexing, easy access and searching by users. The metadata will include among other key terms date, author name, publisher, type of document, summary, ISBN if needed, and keywords. The metadata platform I will use is Dublin Core because it is easiest to implement and good for web based systems.PlatformThe digital library will need a robust server for hosting the site, storage system, operating system, database management system, hosting services, and software for creating the website. Storage will not be a significant problem as most videos will be distributed across the web such as YouTube, Vimeo, and blog sites. The most common web server is Apache. It is reliable and will fit the need for this library service. Also, using a streaming server and formatting the multimedia in different format will omit the need to have the user download a separate plug-in to view the multimedia.The database and repository platform is the core of the site. Dspace and ContentDm are good choices for digital library services with limited staff of programmers to maintain the site. Backup and recovery of content is essential for the long-term preservation of the site.
  • SUSTAINABILITY OF THE DIGITAL DATA SERVICEThe digital library must operate reliably into the future to meet growing traffic and data growth. This will require a scalable system for hardware and software, that resources will still be available over the long-term, and that a disaster recovery plan is in place and ready for use when needed.Content AcquisitionPhase one will include all free information usage to build the site including videos, blogs post, scholarly articles. I will also collaborate with other experts and YouTubers in soliciting new content, providing material, and contacting authors and others for the rights to use their content, which will provide more exposure for their information.Phase two will require I apply for grants and other means of funding to grow the site. I will also solicit companies they may want to advertise on the site which will generate income as well.Outreach Plan to Targeted AudienceThe outreach plan will include contacting the multitude of black hair YouTubers, bloggers, newspapers, and authors via email to promote the site. I will also establish a YouTube page to promote the library project. Black hair care brands will want to promote the library on their site in exchange for advertisement as well.
  • ESTIMATIONS/TIMELINETimelinePhase 1 With limited funds and programming staff I estimate that this phase would take approximately 3 months to get beta-testing/pilot site available. If more funds and staff are available implementation time will be shortened.BudgetThis project is projected to cost $240,000 to complete phase one, which mostly includes technical cost and full-time salary for three years. Growth,.texture,. kinks, coils
  • REFERENCESBellinger, W. (2007). Why African American Women Try to Obtain Good Hair. University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. http://pasocsociety.org/bellinger.pdfFor Colored Girls. http://forcoloredgurls.comFoster-Davis, J. (2001). New Hair Freedom? 1990s Hair Care Marketingand the African-American Woman. Eastern Michigan UniversityGoogle Adwords. https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=10000 00000&__o=kt&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEASNatural Hair Revolution. Essence.com. https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=10000 00000&__o=kt&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEASJackson, C. (2012). Is Natural Hair the End of Black Beauty Culture? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cassandra-jackson/natural-hair-black- beauty_b_1593548.html