Not That We Need More Reasons to Love Hair Love, but Blue Ivy Is Good Incentive
Today’s dose of UwU.
Yesterday, Matthew A. Cherry casually shared the Audible link to “Hair Love” narrated by Blue Ivy Carter. You know, as one does on a Monday.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) November 9, 2020
Oh. My. GOD!
For those who don’t know, Matthew A. Cherry is an Academy Award-winning writer, film director, and producer who stole all of our hearts with Hair Love. Full disclosure: This story is a huge inspiration for me, not just because of its plot and unapologetic imagery of Black hair love (and family, particularly Black fathers), but its behind-the-scenes development is a fresh-faced, wide-eyed, Black creator’s dream. As someone working on her own series and seemingly lofty goals, seeing Hair Love go from Kickstarter to “Academy Award-winning short getting an animated series” is the ultimate validation. You really can shoot for the stars out here with your ideas, huh?
Now available in audiobook form, the story is narrated by Blue Ivy, giving the prose a real Black girl magic vibe. I immediately picture a Black girl getting ready for an adventure … even if the adventure is in her own bedroom with her fantastical hair and cat. That’s the power of imagination, though, and I will always champion Black girls embracing their limitless potential. You know this girl’s embarking on epic quests with that sassy cat, right?
There’s also something to be said about hearing this particular Black girl tell this story. I was very much a witness to the Internet’s harsh judgment of Blue Ivy at the tender age of birth. It mirrors the experience of a lot of young Black girls who are picked apart for simply existing, especially when it comes to their hair. We can win Olympic medals but be put down for a quick ponytail, never mind being out of breath and sweating after working a floor routine.
Hair Love is the perfect example of why these stories matter at a young age, but also why they hit adults like me. Lord knows it took me centuries to get comfortable with my hair, so seeing (or in this case hearing) pure positivity coming out of this young Black girl’s mouth is like a warm hug to the soul. Zuri encourages me the way she encourages her father to just try his best, and you know what? Sometimes a genuine, heartfelt attempt is all it takes.
Hearing Blue Ivy tell this story screams joy and love because “there’s nothing my hair can’t do!” The story already tugs at the ol’ heartstrings, but now we get to hear it from a child’s perspective! This is a good indicator that I’m not ready for the animated series. 12 episodes of this purity? I’ll be crying at the club, thanks.
(image: Sony Pictures Animation)
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