CSUB presents DeMarcus Clear on the story behind “Hair Love”

Clarecca Hargis, Reporter

California State University of Bakersfield (CSUB) presented “Hair Love” a with guest speaker, DeMarcus Clear, on Feb 17 via zoom.

“Hair Love” is a 2019 American animated short film written by former NFL player and now film director, Matthew Cherry, who was this month’s book of inspiration for CSUB.

DeMarcus Clear is a father to four daughters and he explained the importance of hair love within his household.

He refers to one of his daughters wearing a nightcap to secure her curls. “When she took off that nightcap, her hair would blow up,” he said. Just like in his children’s story.

“Hair love” represents a Black father trying his best to make his daughter feel beautiful wearing her natural hair.

The story is about a mother doing a how-to style video and her daughter is trying to learn how to style her hair without help from her mother. With frustration, she turns to her father for help. Her father wanted to take the easy way out and cover her hair with a beanie instead of attempting to brush through her hair. The daughter cries due to feeling unhappy that her hair is so difficult to style. The father takes time to watch the how-to style video and successfully styles his daughter’s hair. As the story goes on, the audience learns that the mother is sick with cancer and lost all her hair. The end of the story represents that all hair is beautiful, even if there is no hair at all.

Self-esteem is taught as a child and a children’s book representing the difficulties Black women experience as children with their hair establishes confidence at a young age. Tamar Anthony commented during the meeting, “Self-esteem is not given to us.”

Anthony stated that “Hair Love” shows young girls that they should be confident in their skin and how their coils are beautiful. Wearing natural hair has been insecurity amongst those who see their hair as not being tamed enough or being difficult to style.  She explained the message around the animation and story shows how fathers also struggle with making their daughters feel confident. The book shows how practice and patience will help one learn different styling techniques.

The meeting ended with Mr. Clear presenting the short film based on the book “Hair Love”. The short clip can be found on YouTube and is encouraged to watch to help promote and support Black creators.