I'm writing a story where my lead character is a 12 yr old African-American girl with curly hair. I know writing the individual is the most important part of creating a character (& I've got that part figured out) but I also don't want to mishandle any cultural aspects that may connect with so many kids who aren't represented in media so much. As the writer of Riri Williams (&, if I'm not mistaken, the father of an African-American girl with curly hair) is there anything you think I should know?
Excellent question.. I lucked out in that I’ve spent the last nine years learning and perfecting my knowledge of African-American female hair. I have two daughters. we have the products, we have the silk pillow cases, we are on it…
when we first adopted Sabrina, and didn’t know anything, even though we took a class in it, African American women would so nice and politely come up to us with all kinds of recommendations. it was embarrassing but everyone was so nice.
Years ago, A friend of ours told me to watch Chris rock’s good hair which was a documentary I was going to watch but never got around to.
On top of it being a very excellent Chris rock project it’s an outstanding primer into this world in the broadest sense. It perfectly illustrates how complicated the culture around African-American hair can be and how different it is from other hair culture. here’s a clip…
then go to hair salons who clearly specializes on African american hair and ask questions. i have never been turned away from asking someone who knows something. people want their expertise represented on page and screen and are happy to help. this goes for everything and every subject.