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Bryan native teaching self-love through hair positivity book

Posted at 8:23 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 21:23:07-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — A Bryan teacher, and children's author, is teaching young African American girls to embrace their hair.

She wrote the book "My Hair is so cool" to get the message across.

Her book is filled with statements like, "My hair is so cool. On rainy days I wear it in twists."

Knowing these words of praise will have a lasting impact on the children who read them too.

"This is my way, to young girls at an early age, kind of build their confidence. And know that different doesn't mean bad," Author Alicia Tillotson said.

The children's book was published in March, around the same time The Crown Act was passed by some states.

The law which was first passed in California in 2019, protects people, specifically African Americans from being discriminated against for their hair texture and hairstyles.

"We need to realize, the importance of a child's identity and when we start messing with those types of things, at a very early age, it causes a lot of psychological damage," Aretha Franklin, Tillotson's mom said.

Tillotson didn't have books like this growing up but she heard similar words of affirmations from her mom.

"Ever since she was a young, little girl, one of the things I would always, especially when combing her hair, is right afterward I would say 'You're so pretty.' And always making sure she knew she was special," Franklin said.

As a published author and 6th-grade teacher Tillotson is teaching her students, who sometimes call her famous, a valuable lesson.

"I am your average teacher but I was able to accomplish this, and obviously so can you," Tillotson said.

All while embracing themselves and maybe even trying new hairstyles.