During the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, an American animated short called Hair Love, won Best Animated Short Film.
The story explored the relationship between a seven-year-old African-American child, Zuri, who attempts to style her thick hair while watching an instructional video narrated by her mother (Issa Rae). Her father, Stephen, sees his daughter struggling and we watch as he does her hair for the first time.
The emotional short, which goes for just under seven minutes, is a poignant look at the relationship between a father and child, who are going through a tough time.
Now, Blue Ivy Carter — the first-born daughter of music royalty Jay-Z and Beyonce — will narrate an audiobook version called Hair Love.
Based on the characters originally created by Matthew A. Cherry in the film short, the creator shared the news on social media with a clip that samples the four-minute-long children’s book.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) November 9, 2020
Back in July, HBO Max ordered a 12-episode season of Young Love, a series based on the Sony Pictures Animation.
“I am beyond excited to continue telling the story of Stephen, Angela and Zuri and further explore the family dynamics of a young Black millennial family we established in our short film Hair Love as an animated series,” Cherry said in a statement.
“Couldn’t ask for better partners in Sony Pictures Animation and HBO Max in helping us get Young Love out to the world.”
The series will take “an honest look into the world of the Young family – including millennial parents Stephen and Angela, their daughter Zuri and her pet cat Rocky – as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues, and multi-generational dynamics all while striving to make a better life for themselves”.
HBO Max’s senior vice president of original animation, Billy Wee, said that “Hair Love struck a chord” and is still “resonating deeply with audiences of all ages”.
In his acceptance speech at the Oscars, Cherry said that the film was to call attention to ban discrimination by schools and employers against black hairstyles.
Accompanying him to the ceremony was Texas high schooler, DeAndre Arnold, who was asked to cut his dreadlocks to be allowed to walk out at his school graduation.
“We wanted to normalize black hair. There’s a very important issue that’s out there, the Crown Act, and if we can help to get this passed in all 50 states, it will help stories like DeAndre Arnold’s — who is our special guest tonight — stop to happen,” he said.
Cherry’s aim was to also “see more representation in animation.”
The new series has been ordered just as the Black Lives Matter movement has gained worldwide attention over the past few months.
WATCH: The full Oscar-Winning Short Film Hair Love.