feature: writer sulma arzu-brown pens charming bilingual children’s book “bad hair does not exist/pelo malo no existe”

February 29, 2016

Saying that hair in the black community is a sensitive subject is a bit of an understatement. Especially in American society where nappy/kinky/coily/ziggly/corse hair is scarcely represented in the already limited representation of black people in the media, where creamy crack and weaves are staples of (what is sometimes) forced assimilation into mainstream (read: white) culture and where there are countless examples of natural hair being unacceptable in schools and in the workplace. Which is bonkers. As a 4A-4C lady myself, I, like many black girls, have had my fair share of self-acceptance struggles as it pertains to my hair. In an attempt to minimize the internalized black hair struggle, Author and VP of Operations for New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sulma Arzu-Brown, and illustrator Isidra Sabio have created the bilingual children’s book “Bad Hair Does Not Exist/Pelo Malo No Existe” as a tool of empowerment and a celebration of differences for Black, Afro-Latinx, Afro-descendent, and Garifuna girls. You can check out their book right here and purchase copies (available in English/Spanish together and both languages separately) over here.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at