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In light of the Navy discharging Black sailor Jessica Sims after she refused to shave off her locs or cover them with a wig, it’s more evident than ever that Black children everywhere need to be fully stocked with affirmations that help them to embrace their natural tresses. Countless Black women can surely recall childhood moments in which they ran around with towels covering their heads, pretending to have straight and wispy hair, not yet realizing that the thick afros that sprouted defiantly upwards from their scalps displayed their very own unique beauty.

As messages that encourage Black children to accept and love the beauty of their natural crowns become more widespread, hopefully the instances of self-esteem issues linked to natural hair texture will begin to dissipate. Fortunately, several authors like Ariane Roberts have recognized the need for customized messages that promote self-esteem amongst Black children, particularly when it comes to embracing their natural hair.

Here are 10 children’s books that help embrace natural hair:

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  • MayaSimoneTruth

    We have 3 of these listed books. Helping my child recognize her beauty is a real struggle. I send her one message (encouragement from me and her dad, wearing my hair natural, her hair is natural, I show how much I love myself and her–inside and out, her hair is always cute, etc), but then she goes to school and out into the world and gets a completely different message. She already has a complex about laid down edges and hair like Rapunzel & Cinderella. She actually told me nobody would want to play with her if her edges were fuzzy. It’s so frustrating and it makes me sad.

    • @MayaSimoneTruth – My little one is always talking about her hair and how she does not like it to be “puffy”. She started kindergarten on yesterday and I had to do her hair “just right” before she would leave the house. She just turned 5. I am at my wits end. I wear my hair naturally and am constantly telling her how beautiful her natural hair is. I have many of the books on the list. I have Black art all over my house. I’m not a nationalist but I love myself and my people. I never thought in a million years I’d have this problem. The images that our children are bombarded with are a powerful force on their psyche and self-image. I am going to get a few of the books that I saw on Amazon and one that I saw on this website and read them to her a lot. I know I must constantly speak words of affirmation to her about her hair to combat the negativity outside my home. She is the only Black child in her class and I am wondering what else I can do to combat negative feedback about her hair from others. I do intend to talk to a Black female psychologist friend of mine for suggestions . . . it has gotten that bad. I’m also thinking about joining Jack & Jill as a way for her to see and connect with other Black children. We attend a predominately Black church and I was hoping that this would help to reinforce a positive self-image for her. I am somewhat shocked by all of this because I am a woman who has never lived by anyone else’s terms and to have a child upset with how God made her is so upsetting. I know I’ve rambled but I’m frustrated right now.

    • MayaSimoneTruth

      BloomingViolet, I completely know where you’re coming from. My daughter is around other black children almost all of the time, at home, school, etc. You know, sometimes our own people send negative messages to our children. I went on a field trip with my child’s class, and do you know that the teacher was fussing about someone’s child’s hair being frizzy and asking what happened to it? Out loud. While all the other children looked on. I stepped in and told the little girl that her hair was pretty and so on. There was literally nothing wrong with her hair. It was an afro.

    • @MayaSimoneTruth and @BloomingViolet

      Reading both your comments breaks my heart! I thought that simply providing the image (wearing your hair natural) at home would be sufficient, but I definitely can see how outside forces influence the narrative. I hope that you are able to convince your children of their god-given beauty!

  • 1989

    I would recommend these to Karrueche but they’re all probably above her reading level anyway.

  • Mary Burrell

    I remember people reacting very negatively to the “Nappy Hair Book” I am surprised it’s still on the list.

  • Mary Burrell

    I love all of the books by the way. It was several years ago and i remember a story in Jet magazine about a teacher bringing the “Nappy Hair” book to some school children and the parents reacting very negatively. The school teacher was a young Latina who really meant well and she was trying to connect with her first graders. I remember the backlash the young teacher received,i felt so bad for her.

  • Lillie

    Thanks for posting this! I am raising a four year girl and I want her to love the hair that grows out of her head. She aspires for her hair to look like Zuri on Disney’s Jessie, so I need to expose her to my books about this subject.