Hair is a sensitive issue, especially for Black women. And the sensitivity can start young. But a 7-year-old girl is hoping to encourage other young women like herself to embrace their natural hair and, in the process, help boost their self esteem.
Natalie McGriff wrote a book called “The Adventures Of Moxie Girl” and it’s about a Black girl who just hates her hair. Then she uses magical shampoo that gives her curly tresses super abilities. She goes on to use her Afro puffs to fight for literacy and save the Jacksonville, Florida’s, public libraries from monsters trying to destroy it.
Natalie’s mom, Angie Nixon, helped her write the book. “I didn’t like my hair and I didn’t like to read, so my mom helped me write a book that made me into a superhero. My hair has superpowers made of fire and ice,” says Natalie. “My mom thought my writing this book would help other girls learn to love their hair and love themselves.”
Once they decided to write the book, mother and daughter took the matter of publishing into their own hands. “My mom and I wanted to find a way to pay for our book to get published,” says Natalie. And it paid off. Natalie took home a substantial prize recently at crowd-funding festival One Spark for her comic book, for more than $16,000. “The Adventures Of Moxie Girl” was one of 530 entries at the festival. She won in One Spark’s Education category.
Now, Natalie wants to encourage and empower other young girls of color. She wants to give them self-pride. “I want other girls to love their hair just the way it is,” says Natalie. “I like my hair now. I can do all kinds of different styles with my hair. It’s pretty cool. I can wear it curly or straight. I can wear my puffs and everything. Natalie is now looking ahead to another book. “I am writing another book with my mom. My second book is coming out next month. I am writing a new one with my best friend Zion. It will have Moxie Boy in it. I read at different schools and after-school programs sometimes with my mom. My mom says we will be going to book fairs and kid festivals over the summer,” she shares.