Black girls, and the people who love them, have one more reason to celebrate this week. While there’s a Black woman about to take office as vice president, they’re also seeing (or hearing) representation of themselves in a new iteration of the book Hair Love. The story by Matthew A. Cherry, which is an Oscar-winning animated short and a best-selling book, is now an audiobook narrated by none other than Miss Blue Ivy Carter.
Cherry dropped the news on Monday afternoon with a tweet that shared a 9-second sample of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter reading the opening credits of the book. Twitter exploded into celebration at the news.
“This is the gift that just keeps on giving!!” Gabrielle Union, who was a producer on the Hair Love movie, tweeted in reply. “Being able to hear Blue Ivy give voice to this masterful story is so awesome. They try to bury us, not knowing we are seeds of strength and beauty. LOVE!”
This is the gift that just keeps on giving!! Being able to hear Blue Ivy give voice to this masterful story is so awesome. They try to bury us, not knowing we are seeds of strength and beauty. LOVE! 🖤🖤🖤🖤 #Hairlove https://t.co/ldS5I7OrQ3
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) November 9, 2020
As Vulture pointed out, it’s fitting that 8-year-old Carter narrates this, given the fact that some despicable people used to mock her natural, gorgeous curls, when she was just a toddler. The impulse to say something about someone else’s child is just so beyond our imagination. We hope now we’re getting to a point where people think twice before uttering such commentary, and works like Cherry’s are helping us along the way.
Me: Why Matthew pumping #HairLove? He has the Best Animated Short Oscar. He’s on the NYTimes Bestseller lis—
IS THAT BLUE IVY’S VOICE?!?! BABY BLUE COMING FOR THAT SPOKEN WORD GRAMMY?!?!?!
— April (@ReignOfApril) November 9, 2020
Hair Love is the sweet story of a little girl whose father struggles to arrange his young daughter’s hair in a style just like her mother would do. It’s both a celebration of her hair and of her father’s love. The success of the book and the movie have led HBO Max to turn it in to an animated series, with Cherry on as show-runner.
blue ivy’s voice is so soothing omg pic.twitter.com/yFPsQHGGb7
— sarah🍓 (@MlLEYONCE) November 9, 2020
But back to Blue Ivy. This announcement has her stans (and yes, she has them apart from her mother’s Bey Hive) hoping that it would lead to a Grammy nomination for spoken word, adding to her growing collection of trophies. Then maybe we could get her to voice the character Zuri for the HBO show and get an Emmy too?
Or, you can just have your kids enjoy her work without attaching grownup results to it.
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Here are more books starring girls of color to add to your children’s shelves.