Mara Brock Akil on the Magic of Black Girl Hair

Photo by Steve Granitz/ Getty
The TV writer and producer says it can be "a sign of empowerment” on the second episode of web series Hair Tales.

The latest episode of Hair Tales is here and features television writer and producer Mara Brock Akil. Best known for her work on Moesha, Girlfriends, The Game and, most recently, Being Mary Jane, the producer reveals a moment from her past where the magic of black girl hair brought her strength.

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“I think what is magic about black girl hair is,” she begins, “at its basic level it’s just resilient. It can go from straight to curly in the same day. It’s just transformative. When you don’t feel so strong, the hair can be a sign of empowerment.”

Brock Akil recalls being bullied at a skating rink because of her hair. “It was a clear indicator that I was mixed,” she explains.

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While India.Arie’s  "I Am Not My Hair" has at one point in our lives been an anthem we’ve proclaimed—more often than not to bathroom acoustics while detangling stubborn knots in the shower—our hair is a marker of our identity.

“I sort of accepted being different,” Brock Akil shares. “I wanted to stand out. And one way I could stand out is, nobody was wearing their hair natural. Nobody was wearing their hair curly.”

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Many of us have also braved the transformative experience of transitioning which has become a collective social movement of #naturalhair, #supportthepuff and #blackgirlmagic to name a few.

“I can’t disappear,” says Brock Akil. “I come from a family of beautiful women, strong women—and strong defined by being themselves.”

Watch her episode of Hair Tales here.

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