Dr. Melissa Munro Boyd is a wife, mother of three, HBCU-grad (Hampton, whoop whoop!), and a clinical psychologist in the US Army. Like any Black mom, she wanted to make sure that her children felt seen in the media they consume. That is why she embarked on a journey of writing children’s books. Her latest book, Hair Day is the perfect addition to any library, particularly when it comes to little girls with kinky hair who are still learning the rites of passage when it comes to hair days and learning to love themselves.
In other words, diversity is still king. Let’s break that down.
Diversity has become a buzzword lately but it shouldn’t be trendy, it should be viewed as an action word. What that means in this case, is we actively need to work toward making sure that all children see themselves in the media they consume. When it comes to children’s books, that is especially important. In 2019, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) surveyed 3,716 books to get a sense of who the typical main characters in children’s and YA books were. The break down goes:
- Black/African: 11.9%
- First/Native Nations: 1%
- Asian/Asian American: 8.7%
- Latinx: 5.3%
- Pacific Islander: 0.05%
- White: 41.8%
That’s a small sampling of books sampled. However, it still speaks to the fact that we still have more work to do. That is why it’s important to bring attention to Hair Day. Munro Boyd wrote the story with her 8-year-old daughter (and with illustration by Adua Hernandez) about a little girl who goes with her mother to get her hair done at the salon for the first time. She ends up getting cornrows with pink and green beads (a nod to Munro Boyd’s Alpha Kappa Alpha sisterhood) but feels unsure of her decision after she walks past another salon and sees girls her age with straight hair.
Ultimately, the little girl’s mother, father, and brothers assure her that she made the right decision and that her uniqueness should be embraced. It’s a sweet story that celebrates self-confidence, natural hair, mother/daughter bonds.
I know tons of mothers can relate. As the mother of a precocious 4-year-old with lots of hair, we are still getting into our routine of hairstyling. She loves it when her hair is styled but hates the process. I haven’t taken her to a professional salon just yet but I have been trying to come up with other ways to help make the process fun and to instill pride in her. This book is the perfect cherry on top of an ongoing self-love journey I am trying to establish with my little girl.
Hair Day is available on Amazon.
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