kent state university museum

Green Book

textures: The History and Art of Black Hair

Create and share your own response to the TEXTURES exhibition using the Traveling Stanzas Emerge erasure poetry tool, or the Listening Wall tools below.

The Digital Green Book

The Digital Green Book Project collects the oral history of Northeast Ohio barbers and salon artists, with video interviews and related exhibition materials. Inspired by the “Negro Motorist Green Book” (1936-1966) created by Victor Hugo Green to provide African American travelers with a resource for safe travel locations during the era of the Jim Crow Laws; our Digital Green Book compiles stories, ranging from certified cosmetologists to multi-generational businesses, reflects the long heritage of Black hair care business, and archives it for future audiences.


About The Exhibition

TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair synthesizes research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of peoples of African descent. Long a fraught topic for African Americans and others in the diaspora, Black hair is here addressed by artists, barbers, and activists in both its historical perceptions and its ramifications for self and society today.

Combs, products, and implements from the collection of hair pioneer Willie Morrow are paired here with masterworks from artists including Sonya Clark, Zanele Muholi, Mary Sibande, Lorna Simpson, and Kehinde Wiley. Exploring topics such as the preferential treatment of straight hair, the social hierarchies of skin, and the power and politics of display, TEXTURES is a landmark exploration of Black hair and its important, complicated place in the history of African American life and culture.


Create and share your own response to the exhibition with the Digital Green Book Materials in our Listening Wall, or by making a poem with Emerge


Create your own erasure poem from documents, book excerpts, exhibit labels and more.

Listening Wall

Leave your own creative response to the art work, barber and salon interviews, and more


The Digital Green Book is made possible with a generous grant from the Ohio Humanities Council.

This program is made possible, in part, by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this (publication) (program) (exhibition) (website) do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Traveling Stanzas community arts projects bring poetry to people’s everyday lives through innovative methods and digital platforms.

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