The GetUp Crew

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Last night was Hollywood’s biggest night as The Oscars were given out. One of those awards has a very special place in my heart because I feel like I had a little something to do with it. Hair Love by Matthew Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver won Best Animated Short Film and it was exciting for several reasons.

Back on August 9, 2017 I heard about a Kickstarter from Matthew Cherry. He had an idea for a short film about a black father trying to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. He talked about how he had the idea for a while, but that recently he had been coming across a lot of viral videos of black fathers interacting with their sons and daughters online. He went on to say, “Through this project, it is my hope that we can show a positive image of black fathers and their daughters, while encouraging natural hair and self-love throughout the world through the animated space.”

Well, I was in and made a donation to get this made. And I got the receipts!

Well, it met and exceeded it’s goal, was made into a book AND the short film was financed and made. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, take the 6:47 minutes to check it out. It’s adorable!

Last night, Hair Love won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film and it was the highlight of the night for me. Actually, I didn’t even watch the whole thing. Found out Hair Love one and went to bed knowing that for me, it wouldn’t get any better than this. Side note: I haven’t seen Parasite (Best Picture), and I will, but I was happy for them too because yes, representation matters. Here’s the moment Hair Love won with Matthew Cherry (Director) and Karen Rupert Toliver (Producer).

In addition to this being such a special moment, it was even more special because Matthew and Karen invited a guest to be with them last night. Deandre Arnold. Deandre is the high school senior from Texas who drew national attention after school officials told him he wouldn’t be able to walk at his graduation if he didn’t cut his dreadlocks. Well, he ended up walking the red carpet at the Oscars. This was made possible with help from Gabrielle Union (a Hair Love Producer) and Dwyane Wade.

Here’s Deandre and his family at the Oscars on the Red Carpet.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 09: Director Matthew A. Cherry (2nd L), producer Karen Rupert Toliver (2nd R), and Deandre Arnold attend the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

During his speech Matthew Cherry brought up The CROWN Act,which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” is a law that prohibits discrimination based on hair style and hair texture. (From The CROWN Act website) It is so ridiculous that this even has to be a law. A law to just live with the hair growing out of your head! Smh. There are currently three states, California, New York, and New Jersey, that have signed The CROWN Act into law. Twenty-two others states, including Massachusetts, have either pre-filed, filed or formally stated an intent to introduce their own anti-hair discrimination bills. CLICK HERE to sign the petition.

So to recap…I won an Oscar. Thank you very much.