This summer I enrolled in a program that required I do a community project. The project could be about anything I wanted, but the requirement was that it involve a minimum of 20 and maximum of 200 volunteers. I decided on a documentary on Black women and how we feel about our hair, about the impact hair has had on our lives. Having never made a film, I enrolled several of my dear friends to assist me. They are: Hemamset Angaza, a recent graduate with a B.A. in film Brooklyn College; Maitefa Angaza, journalist, author and producer, and my sister Paulette J. Tabb, educator and longtime film enthusiast..
I entitled the film, “In Our Heads about Our Hair” and we proceeded to interview a wide range of women of all ages, including elders of our community, young ladies and a few girls. Above is a photo of fashion and cultural icon, elder Fernandun June Terry, one of the beautiful subjects featured in our film. This project proved to be a revelation in many ways! First, I had no idea what a commitment of time, dedication and focus film-making requires. The process has touched both my heart and my last nerve! But I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to initiate a healing dialogue that’s more urgently needed than even I, as a salon owner of many years, had imagined. Our film has funny, painful and surprising moments and a true diversity of perspectives. A work-in-progress excerpt will be screened on September 27th at the Reel Sisters Film Festival. Come out to see it if you can. It will provide food for thought as we await Chris Rock’s film, “Good Hair,” opening in October. Our film screens at the Kumble Theater in the last segment, on Sunday, September 27th at 5:50 p.m.