My Beautiful Black Hair is a book about Black women embracing their natural hair. One hundred and one Black women share their stories of learning to love their natural hair and the immense power in that self-love.
St. Clair Detrick-Jules was inspired to write the book when her little sister, Khloe, came home from preschool where a classmate had told her that her hair was ugly. St. Clair wanted to send a message to Khloe and young Black women everywhere that their hair is beautiful just the way it is.
The stories she captured reveal both the depth of the physical and emotional damage done to many women by relaxing their hair and trying to make it look “acceptable,” and the incredible resilience, self-love, and acceptance they gained by learning to embrace their hair and free themselves from Eurocentric beauty standards.
Accompanied by beautiful and intimate photographs of each woman, the book is an encouraging voice for young Black women and the adults who remember their own journeys to self-acceptance.
I feel like I need to get a hard copy of this book and just keep it for my daughter. When she is old enough, I hope she will know that her hair is beautiful as it is. Should she decide to straighten it, let it be because its just want she wants but not because society has taught her that black hair is unacceptable.
This is such a powerful, affirming read. Filled with beautiful pictures and stories of natural hair was quite powerful. I could resonate with these women. I grew up straightening my hair with heat and at some point, with chemicals. With me it wasn’t about identity but more because I thought my natural hair was unpresentable and unmanageable. A decade ago, I went natural and almost lost my job because someone thought natural, black hair was unprofessional. I stood strong and began a silent revolt that led to the change of policies and now I can smile when I see more women with their natural afros and dreadlocks.
This was quite a thought-provoking read that challenged me on my thoughts about black hair and identity. I enjoyed the celebration of natural hairstyles and liked reading about different journeys that the women took towards acceptance and self-love. What a beautiful, powerful read.