WOODBURY - It is not often that the style of your hair is a reflection of your ethnic background but it is the case sometimes. African-American hairstyles are much more than a fashion statement, they are an expression of racial identity.

The 4,000-year-old tradition traces its roots back to Africa. Each tribal region had its own hairstyle signaling a person's social status, spiritual power or phase in life.

During the slave trade, millions of Africans were robbed of their cultural identity.In part four of News 12 Long Island's tribute to Black History month, Virginia Huie reveals how hairstyles and history are intertwined. To watch the extended interview with African-American studies professor Shani Bruno, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select the 'iO Extra' tab.News 12 LI Series: Black History MonthCulturally Situated Design ToolsHistory of Hair Braiding