Hair Tales, the new OWN six-part docuseries hailing from the minds of noted documentarian and executive producer Michaela Angela Davis, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, and everyone’s best friend in their head Tracee Ellis Ross who produces and hosts the series, tells the beautifully complicated relationship Black women have with our hair through a historical, political, and sisterly context.
Each episode uses the story of a famous Black woman we’ve all come to love and adore as a conduit to discuss the larger cultural context in which our relationship with our hair exists. xoNecole has compiled a list of our favorite moments from the series packed with standout moments.
“Our strength, our beauty, our power is in our crowns … but we are not those things also” — Tracee Ellis Ross
In the episode centered around Representative Ayana Pressley, she speaks about the painful decision to cut off all her hair after suffering from alopecia totalis, which caused her hair to come out in clumps. However, Rep. Pressley’s journey of losing her hair liberated her, so much so that after wearing a wig on the house floor once, she decided from then on to show her head in all its glory.
“What I admired about women who changed up their hair a lot is that they were free” – Dr. Tiffany Gill
Our favorite Awkward Black Girl Issa Rae talks to Tracee about the decision to cut off all her hair over a decade ago. Her journey with her hair would intertwine with her personal and professional journey as she launched her hit web series with the premiere episode showing her character shaving off her hair. “I was born — I was reborn — in a new way,” she said. Looking at her hair throughout the years, you can track the evolution of Rae as a person by the varying hairstyles, as she has admitted in an interview that she started experimenting with her hair more as she learned more about it.
“If we can legislate hurt and harm, then we can legislate healing and justice” — Ayanna Pressley
The Crown Act, a bill co-sponsored by Pressley, seeks to end hair discrimination against Black people in schools and in the workplace. The bill, which is currently sitting in the Senate, if passed would be a bold step forward in combating toxic ideals about who or what is or isn’t considered to be professional. That not only could natural hair be beautiful, but it could also exist in the workplace and classrooms.
“I live in God’s dream for me” — Oprah Winfrey
The executive producer of Hair Tales Oprah Winfrey speaks about her own relationship with her hair, which dates back to her childhood. She was taught that straight long hair was what was considered to be the pinnacle of beauty. The award-winning host even recalled a moment early in her career when her boss insisted she straightened her hair, even going as far as to recommend plastic surgery in order to assimilate to white beauty standards.
Feature image by LaylaBird/ Getty Images
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