Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Although India Arie sang, “I am not my hair, I am not my skin, I am not your expectations,” some people still judge African-American women by how they wear their hair. Whether they wear it in a natural style or processed, black women can be stereotyped simply because they wear locks or hair permed ultra straight.
West Philly hair stylist Yvette Smalls, director of the 40-minute documentary Hair Stories, asks the question, “What’s wrong with the hair you've got?” in her film. Several subjects featuring Erykah Badu, Sonia Sanchez, Dr. Jackie Copeland-Carson, and others talk about what it means to have African inspired hair. Smalls' film will be shown on Tuesday, March 20 at 7 p.m., Robin’s Bookstore, 108 South 13th Street in Philadelphia. (This is one of those events I’d love to attend, but can’t.) Smalls will also lead an open discussion about the myth of the “good hair” vs. “bad hair.” (Aren’t you sick of hearing those terms?)
"Loving your hair is loving yourself," says Copeland-Carson in the film.
Also in Hair Stories, Badu recalls when girls with unstraightened hair were called “pickaninny" and "nappy nigger." Sanchez talks about coming home one day with an afro—her family kept asking her,“What happened to your hair?”
This film is sure to inspire and enlighten, I’m sure. If you’re in Philly, check it out and let me know how it affected you.
Check out this interview with Badu on her participation in the film.
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 3/07/2007 11:12:00 AM