Want to see the evolution of Black hair over a century in under two minutes? The latest video from Cut.com does just that. The clip goes through 100 years of hairstyles rocked by Black men in America, many of which are inspired by formative figures in the civil rights movement throughout history, featuring the handsome model and musician Lester Shaw.
In the video, which is just a minute and half long, Shaw makes the transition from a hat-wearing gentleman from 1910; a style from 1920 that was influenced by pioneer aviator and civil rights activist William J. Powell; and onto the 1930s, which showed off the iconic hard side parting hair; followed by the 1940s, which had Shaw in a military cap, paying respect to the 2.5 million Black American men who registered for the draft following the start of WWII.
Shaw’s hair depicting style of the 1950s is an homage to Little Richard, followed by the '60s, where Shaw wears the black beret of the Black Panther movement.
The '70s features the Afro, of course, and the '80s style is made to reflect famous artist Jean Michel-Basquiat. The '90s belongs to the flattop made famous by Will Smith in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, followed by the millennium's tightly wound braids, and finally the modern trend of a less pronounced flattop with a tight fade.
Black women's hair is often a topic of conversation, including the recent #SupportthePuff movement, but it's nice to take a moment to appreciate the beauty and complexity of Black men's hair, too.
(Photo: The Cut)