“Hair Love” a seven-minute animated feature film about Stephen, an African American father, and his daughter, Zuri, won an Academy Award Sunday for the best Animated Short Film.
The film is about Stephen, who does Zuri’s hair, when his wife is not available. So, he has to figure out how to do Zuri’s hair on his own, but he quickly learns his daughter’s hair has a mind of its own. While the short film features Zuri’s hair, the story depicted goes well beyond styling her hair. It is a story of a loving relationship between a black father and his daughter.
Matthew A. Cherry, a native of Chicago, and a former player in the National Football League, wrote, directed, edited and produced the film.
Cherry said, “I just want to say that “Hair Love” was done because we wanted to see more representation in animation — we wanted to normalize black hair.”
Cherry also mentioned the Crown Act, which seeks to ensure protection against discrimination based on hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and state Education Codes.