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Hair Stories: A Documentary

Assata Shakur
Assata Shakur
public domain

Hair Stories is a collaborative effort between Filmmaker/Director Nicole Tarver and Natural Hair Culturist Megan Davis, both of Toledo, Ohio. In reply to the film Good Hair by Chris Rock, the co-producers wanted to expand on the culture of natural hair in the Midwest and its rapid growth around the world. While Good Hair did expose some of the secrets in Black Hair Care and the industry behind extensions and chemical processes, it left many questions about natural, chemical free hair.

Nicole Tarver, MFA and Founder of The One Story Project began her work in New York, where she studied and worked within the community, seeing the suffering of young people who had no voice or no avenue to express their pain. Through audio and visual arts, Ms. Tarver has established a mentoring program that encourages self expression and likewise serves as a healing balm to broken hearts and tattered souls.

Continuing her work in Toledo, Ms. Tarver ran a summer program with area youth who, in conjunction with the Lucas County Arts Community, created a platform for young people to act out situations and react through artistic expression. Her film Athena, which followed the life of a sympathetic-yet-troubled former sex-worker while she tried to gain custody of her two young daughters, won the 2008 New York Women in Film and Television Award.

Megan Davis, owner of The Kitchen Salon LLC hosts workshops, natural hair meetups and in Toledo and nearby communities. Her focus is on educating the community, about the history, health, and honor associated with wearing their hair in its natural state. Her classes range from style clinics to kids hair care clinics and addresses a number of topics including hair loss and has helped many to appreciate their crown and to develop healthy habits for healthy hair.

An Indiegogo campaign was established to finalize the editing process and to publish this documentary, which follows 8 women, although hundreds of women are a part of the movement that is taking place in the Midwest. We want to share our stories, challenges and triumphs with the world to expose common myths and raise awareness about what society accepts as the acceptable female image and its effect on women and children in the African American community. Nicole Tarver describes the film here:

"Hair Stories" is 45 minute documentary that explores the lives of 8 African American women who have embraced their Natural Hair. The film illuminates the complexities of Natural Hair from angles rarely seen including sexuality, motherhood, mental health and physical health.These women are nurses, teachers, artists, and entrepreneurs,sharing their experiences with their hair and personal ideals of beauty, including historical backgrounds and political views and its impact on their daily lives.

This film will prove to be an awakening for the Black Hair Care Industry and the Community as well.

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