Texas Tech University

Registration Open for Rescheduled Women's History Month Lecture

Glenys Young

August 31, 2020

Tanisha C. Ford

Historian Tanisha C. Ford will discuss her recent book, “Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion.”

They say, "Clothes don't make the man," but what a person wears can certainly affect how other people perceive them.

Tanisha C. Ford – an award-winning writer, cultural critic and history professor at the City University of New York – has, quite literally, written the book on the subject of clothing. Now, you can hear about it from the source.

Ford, who initially was scheduled to address Texas Tech University in March as part of its Women's History Month Lecture Series, instead will give a virtual presentation at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 via Zoom.

The topic is her 2019 book, "Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl's Love Letter to the Power of Fashion," which investigates Afros and dashikis, go-go boots and hotpants of the 1960s, hip hop's baggy jeans and bamboo earrings, and the #BlackLivesMatter-inspired hoodies of today. The history of such garments is deeply intertwined with Ford's story as a Black woman who came of age in a Midwestern Rust Belt city. It is a story of desire, access, conformity and Black innovation that explains things like the importance of knockoff culture; the role of "ghetto fabulous" full-length furs and colorful leather in the 1990s; how Black girls make magic out of a dollar store T-shirt, rhinestones and airbrushed paint; and Black parents' emphasis on dressing nice.

The event is sponsored by the Department of History, the Honors College, the Humanities Center at Texas Tech, Women's & Gender Studies, the Office of Research & Innovation, the Office of LGBTQIA Education & Engagement and the School of Law.

Moderators for the event include:
Emily Skidmore, associate professor, Department of History
Stephen Chao, administrator, Office of LGBTQIA Education & Engagement
• Heidi Mims, president, Organization of Women Law Students

The webinar is free and open to the public. Registration is available here.