Escondido, CA

Center to present “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without A Comb” beginning January 16



Opening on January 16, 2016, and running through the entire month of February 2016 (Black History Month) until March 6, 2016, the unveiling of “The History and the Hair Story: 400 Years Without A Comb” takes place at the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The exhibition transforms The Museum into a journey through pivotal events in our country’s history. Coinciding with the origin of civilization to the civil rights movement to our present culture, the comb’s untold story takes the spotlight by way of 400 years worth of artifacts, photography, historical accounts, propaganda and more!

“The History and the Hair Story” examines 400 years of changing hairstyles, and corresponding historical and political climates that led to them. The exhibit follows hair trends from Africa, into the slave trade, through the civil rights movement, and to modern times to find that hair, across cultures, is irrepressibly linked to identity and individuality. “The History and the Hair Story” features hair implements, products, advertisements, artifacts, and original artwork and photos. Starla Lewis, professor of Black History at San Diego Mesa College and frequent guest curator and lecturer at the Women’s Museum of California, curates the exhibition.

Among the local artists who’ve been invited to tell their own Hair story is African American entrepreneur, barber, writer, business owner, self-taught chemist and pioneer in the field of African American hair care, Dr. Willie L. Morrow. He presents his extensive collection showing that old flattening irons and wooden combs tell a crucial story about the black experience, slavery and the economic empowerment of African Americans. Dr. Morrow dedicated his life to African American hair care and style through the creation of hair relaxers, chemical-free creams, the Jheri curl (a glossy, loosely curled look popular in the ’80s), and the Afro pick comb.

Dr. Morrow has been featured on various magazine covers. On the walls of his office, he displays many of these clippings to encourage other blacks that they also can prosper. Now in his mid-70’s, Dr. Morrow has successfully been able to highlight his life’s journey and the history of hair through long-standing dedication to African American hair.

 The Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido is open Thursdays – Saturdays (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), and Sundays (1 p.m. – 4 p.m.). Tickets are $8; members and children under 12 get in free. Senior (60 plus), military and student discounts are available. For more information, call 760-839-4138 or visit:

In honor of Museum Month, the Center Museum will offer 2-for-1 admission up to four people to anyone who has picked-up a Museum Month Pass at a participating San Diego Macy’s store during the month of February 2016. For more information, please call 760-839-4178 or visit:

The Center is located at 340 N. Escondido Blvd. in Escondido. The Ticket Office can be reached at (800) 988-4253. Tickets can also be purchased online. To learn more, including performance dates, times and ticket information, visit

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