Yvette Smalls

Yvette Smalls is the director of the video, Hair Stories (a series of candid, funny, and poignant interviews with Sonia Sanchez, Erykah Badu, and Joe Lewis among others, which chronicles the historical and cultural issues of beauty and “good hair/bad hair” standards in the African-American community). Ms. Smalls is also a lecturer, folk artist, and hair sculptor, and has served as a hair historian and cultural consultant to various TV programs and videos including the AM/PM Show, Making a Difference, Saturday Tribune Program, and River Momma, as well as various news publications (The Philadlephia Daily News and The Philadelphia Tribune). Additionally, she has presented lectures and demonstrations on hair and culture for the Commonwealth Lecture Series of University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology; Free Library of Philadelphia; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Odunde Festival; Marian Anderson Community Center; and various public schools. She has been teaching a course on African hair braiding and sculpting for over 8 years for the PASCEP program at Temple University, is a Roster Artist for the PA Council on the Arts, and is the current president of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Braider’s Guild.

Hair Stories
by Yvette Smalls
Air Date: Sep. 6, 2006
WYBE Public TV Philiadelphia

“The afros, the braids, the locks, what’s wrong with the hair you got.”

Candid, funny and poignant interviews with Sonia Sanchez, Erykah Badu and Joe Lewis, among others, chronicle the historical and cultural issues of beauty and “good hair/bad hair” standards in the African-American community.

Excerpt
“White is right; lighter is better…to children”, says Erykah Badu in the new video, Hair Stories. “All the girls I knew were trying to have boyfriends with light-skin and curly hair–that was the right thing to do…When they didn’t have any hair…in the back you know…they talked about it…b.b.’s or buck shots…so we all got teased; we teased one another; I teased people if their hair wasn’t straight…And that’s just what we were taught as children.”

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Comments
5 Responses to “Yvette Smalls”
  1. 80 dollars says:

    THE ONLY REASON I WAS BLESSED WITH THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF YVETTE SMALLS AND URSULA RUCKER WAS DUE TO MRS. SMALLS PAGER GOING OFF ON THE UNLOCKING (THE ROOTS DO YOU WANT MORE????? ALBUM) FEEL FREE TO BREATHE MORE LIFE INTO ME SISTAS PEACE

    BY THE WAY 80 IS

    8 IS INFINITY SIGN SIDEWAYS
    O IS A 360 DEGREE WHICH IS EMPTY
    DOLLARS ARE THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL THAT MAKE THE WORLD GO round

    $80

  2. 80 dollars says:

    is there anything more beautiful than a proud black sista?????????????????

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Margaret says:

    Are there any updated tv dates for Hair Stories?

    Thank You
    11/1/2007

  4. nappyme says:

    Hi Margaret!
    I have no idea. I don’t live in the Philly area.

  5. Andrew says:

    Hair Stories will be showing at the Blackwell Regional Branch of the Free Library 125 S. 52nd on Nov. 1st, 2008 at 10:30 am: http://malcolmxpark.org/?p=1728
    Yvette Smalls will be there to discuss!

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