The book My Beautiful Black Hair is a compilation of love letters about hair written by 101 different Black women. Created by St. Clair Detrick-Jules, she strives to tell the story of sisterhood through different phases of the natural hair journey. Outlined in different sections, Detrick-Jules takes you on a journey through “Liberation”, “The Big Chop”, “Self-Love and Self-Discovery” and more throughout the book.
The book’s concept stemmed from Detrick-Jules’ younger sister Khloe who was four at the time and was getting bullied by classmates for her afro, per The Washington Post. Although Khloe was being raised by her father in France, who told Detrick-Jules about the bullying situation, she knew that she had to do something for her sister. Even though the sisters were not physically together, Detrick-Jules began to recall the experience she had with her hair when she was growing up just like her younger sister. The writer admits she began embracing her hair in college but didn’t want Khloe to have to wait that long. She then got in touch with 100 Black women who agreed to share their stories about their own natural hair journey.
Detrick-Jules began photographing her Black girlfriends that wore their hair natural and then when she ran out of contacts she started asking women on Instagram if they wanted to participate and all of them collectively said, “Yes.”
The book tackles 101 women dealing with the intricacies of their own personal hair journey and the constant battle to have others accept them as well. Per the outlet, “One woman recalls her mom holding her down to forcibly put a relaxer onto her scalp and hair. Another describes her classmates ripping off her ponytail holder so they could see her “nappy” hair and make fun of her.”
The longest “Dear Khloe” note is penned by Detrick-Jones to her now eight-year-old sister.
“When Dad called to tell me you were ashamed of your Afro, I became furious at the world for making you feel this way,” she wrote, per The Washington Post. “Some people say that change must be gradual, that Black girls with natural hair must be patient as the media slowly but surely begins giving us a hint of representation here and there. But I don’t believe in gradual change. So I took matters into my own hands. . . . I want to teach you how to love yourself by loving myself, by introducing you to other Black women who love themselves.”
My Beautiful Black Hair will be available next month wherever books are sold.
Check out the trailer for the book below: