#BackChannel: ‘Hair Love,’ Remembering Kobe Bryant & Michael Vick’s Road To Redemption

Feb 12, 2020

What happens when a black father tries to do his young daughter’s natural hair for the first time? In the animated short “Hair Love” a battle ensues: The father wields a comb as his weapon, but his first attempt is a miserable failure.

With his daughter’s encouragement, and help from a guided video, he eventually succeeds. The charming seven-minute film won an Oscar on Sunday for best animated short.

Popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown and Mark Anthony Neal join host Frank Stasio in this installment of #Backchannel to talk about representation in animated film and how the short disrupts assumptions about black fathers.

"Hair Love" directed by Matthew A. Cherry

They also pay tribute to the recently-deceased Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and share insight  into the tension surrounding how his 2003 rape allegation is being talked about in the wake of his death.

 

Brown and Neal also review Google’s new ad released for Black History Month and shout out the Sundance Film Festival for how diverse and inclusive its awards were this year.

The Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History Makers

Plus, Emmy-award winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson joins the conversation to talk about his new two-part 30 for 30 documentary series about former NFL quarterback Michael Vick. “Vick” traces his rise, fall and road to redemption.

Vick: Part 1 Trailer

Natalie Bullock Brown is a filmmaker and teaching assistant professor at North Carolina State University. Mark Anthony Neal is the James B. Duke Professor and chair of the department of African and African American studies at Duke University.

 

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