“I killed dreadlocks. It was a crime of passion.”
Bert Ashe is an English professor at the University of Richmond, and author of Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles. We sat down with Dr. Ashe in the WRIR studio to talk about his influences, his book, and his dreads.
Origins. Growth. Twisted. Golden Age. Locked. Confession. Twisted is structured according to Bert’s own journey of cultivating his dreadlocks, interspersed with Black history and the context of the modern dread, voiced in Ashe’s characteristic pithy wit.
The book starts with a confession–which Dr. Ashe reads during the second segment of the episode–he goes on to explain that he missed the Golden Age of dreads. That Bert, a down-to-earth husband, dad, and dude, has contributed to the normalization of the hairstyle that once, not so long ago, was a clear sign of righteous rebellion.
“from Uppercase Dreads to common-denominator lowercase locks…”
Dr. Ashe is not only unquestionably intelligent and well-educated, he’s also funny as hell! We had a ball chatting with our new friend Bert, and we, your ever-humble hosts, hope you’ll enjoy listening to this episode.
Bert also wants to promote his RVA reading group, Black Men Read?! If you’re a readerly black man in Richmond, you can contact Dr. Ashe for details!