Hair Love is heartwarming and happy, one empowering word and self-affirming image after another. It is the love of a father for his daughter as he builds her up and wraps her with an unshakeable confidence. It is the unfailing adoration of a little girl for her Daddy because she knows that he is willing to give his all for her in this moment and always. It is the love of family as the two welcome Mom home, and it is about the love of your own hair. “Sometimes, love looks like braids, puffs, and twists.”
Thank you Matthew A. Cherry for your heart and your desire to tell this story. I remember the buzz on Twitter as you worked on the short film that this book is based on. I grew immediately excited for the project, especially knowing that Vashti Harrison would be illustrating the characters and because of what it would mean for all of the little girls who would see themselves represented with pride and such care and attention to the versatility of their hair through both the book and the film. We want our children to love their hair and to have access to images of beauty that reflect us.
Hair Love is the book that I needed as a child. The narrative that I grew to believe was that straight her was good hair. My cousins got their hair straightened with a hot comb. Mine was straightened with a relaxer. When I had my own children, I did what I knew to do. I relaxed my oldest daughter’s hair for a while and my youngest daughter’s only once because at that point we’d transitioned to the idea of hair straightening with a flat iron. We broke up with the chemical processing of our hair (about 7 years ago) and about 2 years ago, both of my girls have been rocking their natural hair. I wish they would have had this book growing up too. When she was a little girl, my youngest daughter would especially hear some of the most ridiculous statements from curious people. Saying things like, “Wow, your hair looks like a lion’s mane…” or “is that all her hair? Is it real?” and my personal least favorite, “Can I touch her hair?” Um, how about no. That lion’s mane comment really stung. It was a moment when my daughter was working through being confident (around the majority crowd at school and at our “diverse” church) about her big, beautiful hair. Take my family’s personal anecdote about our hair journey as you will but for me, it’s a perfect example of why we need a book like Hair Love. Buy it as a gift to give to your family and friends. Add it to your classroom and library collection and make sure to watch the short film that is available on Youtube.
My Youngest Daughter Angela – Pulchritudinous
Matthew A. Cherry | http://www.matthewacherry.com/
Vashti Harrison | https://www.vashtiharrison.com/
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Amazon: Hair Love
You might also like: Sulwe by Lupita Nyongo
Sulwe’s Black is beautiful. Her skin, the color of midnight, is elegant and radiant. Her very name means star and she has what she needs within to let her confident brilliance shine. But it’s difficult to shake off the heavy weight of being called “Blackie” or “Darky” and feeling like maybe she’d be able to make friends if her skin were a lighter tone. Her mom gives her words of encouragement that I hope will inspire every reader, “Real beauty comes from your mind and your heart. It beings with how you see yourself, not how others see you.” Read the full review here.