From her feature on the uplifting song “Brown Skin Girl” to her appearances in the poignant visual album Black Is King, Blue Ivy Carter has been linked to projects centered on celebrating the richness of Black culture and empowering individuals to embrace the fullness of their authentic selves. The 8-year-old’s latest project is focused on inspiring girls of color to take pride in their hair. According to Billboard, Carter has been tapped to narrate the audiobook version of the short film Hair Love.
The Oscar-winning short movie—which was created by Matthew A. Cherry—follows the journey of a Black father named Stephen and his daughter Zuri. The story chronicles Stephen’s attempt to do Zuri’s hair for the first time. Although the film is 7 minutes long, it encompasses a powerful narrative that brings an array of concepts like self-love, self-actualization, and self-efficacy to the forefront. The Hair Love project was created so youngsters of color can see themselves reflected in mainstream animation and to debunk misconceptions surrounding Black fatherhood.
“I liked the idea of something that was centered around a Black family, because so often you don’t see that in animation,” Cherry told the Los Angeles Times. “It felt like a great opportunity to really shine the spotlight on Black fathers, because so often in mainstream media they just get a bad rap. If you watch movies and TV, you would think they don’t exist, but studies have actually shown that they’re among the most involved groups in their kids’ lives.” The audio version of Hair Love was published and produced by Dreamscape Media. The children’s book version of Hair Love—which featured illustrations by Vashti Harrison—was released last May. Cherry teamed up with Toliver to produce and direct the short film.
During a recent interview with British Vogue Carter’s mother, songstress Beyoncé, shared that she empowers her children Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir to be changemakers. “I let my children know that they are never too young to contribute to changing the world,” she said. “When I tell her I’m proud of her, she tells me that she’s proud of me and that I’m doing a good job.” Carter has received several awards for her work including an NAACP Image Award and BET Award for her “Brown Skin Girl” feature.