By Ny MaGee
*Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s eldest daughter Blue Ivy Carter lends her sweet young voice to the audiobook for Matthew Cherry’s “Hair Love.”
The 8-year-old narrates the audio version of Cherry’s beloved children’s book illustrated by Vashti Harrison. The story centers on the relationship between an African-American father, Stephen, his daughter Zuri, and her hair. When his wife becomes unavailable, Stephen is faced with having to do his daughter’s hair for the first time, and soon discovers that her hair has a mind of its own.
In February, the animated short film version of the book won an Academy Award.
“Hair Love was done because we wanted to see more representation in animation,” Cherry said during his acceptance speech. “We wanted to normalize black hair. There’s a very important issue that’s out there, the CROWN Act, and if we can’t help to get this passed in all 50 states it will help stories like DeAndre Arnold’s who’s our special guest tonight.”
Back in 2017, Cherry launched a fundraising campaign for the short film, writing at the time: “This story was born out of seeing a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects, and also wanting to promote hair love amongst young men and women of color,” he stated.
“I’ve been thinking about this project for couple of years now, but it wasn’t until I started coming across a lot of viral videos online of black fathers interacting with their sons and daughters that I finally had the confidence to try and make this a real thing,” Cherry continued.
Adding, “You don’t see the black family dynamic that often in mainstream animated projects. I hope that this film will help change that.”
Blue Ivy won her first BET Award this year for collaborating with her mother on the single “Brown Skin Girl.”
HBO Max has planned a TV series based on “Hair Love.”