Sheryl Felecia Means, Ph.D. gets published in African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal

February 10, 2020 - Africana Studies

Bikuda: hair, aesthetic, and bodily perspectives from women in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, an article by Dr. Sheryl Felecia Means, gets published in African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal. Dr. Means is a

Postdoctoral Fellow in Africana Studies and a Feminist Scholar in Residence at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Means's research interests include Afro-Latin America, racial identity formation, and comparative education studies.

The Steve Biko Cultural Institute (Biko) is one of various institutions that aim to educate civically active Afro-descendant youth in Salvador who hope to enter higher education spaces. From this institution emerge the Bikudas, the female students. This paper analyzes semi-structured interviews and observations of this group from 2015 to 2016 and their shared experiences. The three aims of the paper are as follows regarding analysis of: (1) the plurality of Black identity; (2) the intersectionality Bikudas navigate as part of their social positioning within family, and relationships; and (3) how Black womanhood manifests on the body. This paper discusses how participants described their social standing as the lowest rank and struggled with their interactions with others on the basis of color, were often rejected by family members for wearing their hair naturally and assuming outward markers of Black identity, and endured greater socioeconomic burdens than their male counterparts.

Read full research paper here