"Sesame Street" loves black hair

A new song celebrates the wonders of curly brown hair -- whether it's combed out, in cornrows or dreadlocked

By Crystal P. Smith
October 16, 2010 3:16AM (UTC)
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"Sesame Street" might have gotten lots of criticism from parents about singer Katy Perry's display of cleavage, but no one can criticize its latest initiative to get little black girls to love their natural hair.

With all the pressures and pain that black women face on account of their naturally curly and coarsely textured hair, it's an exceptional move for "Sesame Street" to drill self-love into their minds as toddlers. As soon as children of different races begin to notice the differences that exist between them, the curiosity about those differences sets in. Little white girls start asking to play with and touch the hair of little black girls, and while it's all innocent, that little black girl will soon start to feel like the odd one out. "Why doesn't my hair look like that? Why do I have to wear my hair up to school? Why does everyone always want to touch my hair?" In other words, little black girls can start to feel like zoo animals in some sort of science fair -- and then the self-hatred begins.


With the most respected program for early childhood education and development trying to improve the self-esteem of little black girls, we can only hope that will translate into future generations of healthier, happier and more self-confident black women.

Crystal P. Smith

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