As an educator for six years, and a student for 20 years, I have 1st hand experience with hair discrimination within school systems rooted in Eurocentric culture. I know what it's like for my hair to be treated as a spectacle and labeled as a distraction. I have watched administrators who have no connection with Black Girls sit in positions and enforce culture erasing policies to make themselves feel more at ease around Black culture and to groom Black children for "professionalism" and "acceptance."
On the other hand, I have also experienced spaces where my Blackness was loved, accepted, and celebrated. These spaces were my home, family reunions, community outreach programs, and amongst my friends. These spaces taught me how to love my aesthetic despite the constant micro-aggressions and counterproductive images in the media that told me otherwise. Unfortunately, it is 2021, and we are still fighting to pass legislation to cease hair discrimination within schools and the workplace. The American educational system can be oppressive to Black students, specifically Black girls, and their voices need to be heard. Policing Joy is a love letter to us and, most importantly, a resource for showing up for our girls. This documentary will celebrate, educate, and give a solution without leaving the audience traumatized.