High-Rise Avenue Presents

HAIR POLICE

Suitable for ages 15 years+

Written Kalungi Ssebandeke and Sandra Thompson-Quartey

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

www.artscouncil.org.uk

Brianna has been offered a promotion at work and is due to marry the man of her dreams. Life is looking good.  While attending an Afro/Caribbean natural hair exhibition, Briana starts to question her perception of beauty and how she views her type 4 hair, which she has kept hidden. When Brianna makes the decision to 'free the fro' her promotion hangs in the balance and the ignored cracks in her relationship begin to widen.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on her hair, is it really that deep?

 

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Kalungi Ssebandeke’s original short play, A View of Her Own Beauty, was directed by Artistic Director of High-Rise Avenue, Sandra Thompson-Quartey, in 2015 at Bush Theatre as part of Black Lives, Black Words (Artistic Directors of the Future) and at the Bussey Building as part of the Melanin Box Festival.  The short play is currently being developed through a research and development process.

The play looks at the Eurocentric beauty ideal pushed within our society, and the impact it has on the black community. The play will also explore the varying perspectives within the black community. Is straight hair on black women rooted in white supremacy or is it just a fashion choice? The play will be influenced by a range of real experiences and will provide a forum for debate and reflection. 

 

The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Research: Schools and Workplaces Worldwide

  1. In March 2021 students at Pimlico school staged a protest over discriminatory dress codes READ THE ARTICLE
     

  2. This Morning’s Phillip Scofield and Holly Willoughby interviewed a Mixed Race boy banned from school in London for his hair.  WATCH VIDEO
     

  3. In the UK, February 2020 Ruby Williams, a Mixed Race child. was sent home from school multiple times because her afro was deemed inappropriate READ THE ARTICLE 
     

  4. In 2016 the BBC reported that a Black lady who showed up to work with cornrows was told  by her employer to "wear a weave at work" - your afro hair is unprofessional" asked wen her hair would return to 'normal’ READ THE ARTICLE
     

  5. In the UK, a Harrods manager told a Black woman she needed to relax her hair (chemically straighten) to work there READ ARTICLE
     

  6. In South Africa, Black students protested over the code of conduct at Pretoria High which policed how they wear their hair and due to comments from teachers READ THE ARTICLE
     

  7.  In America, a Mixed Race wrestler had his dreadlocks cut during a match READ THE ARTICLE
     

  8. Personal stories from 30 black women in America READ THE ARTICLE