We can never forget the Kickstarter that Matthew A. Cherry put into play in 2017 for his then-film project, Hair Love. It was an ode to the relationship between Black fathers and daughters and their hair. Have you ever had to sit through your dad attempting a style for the first time? I remember how my dad wrestled with my bubbles, some Afro Sheen conditioner and hair dress and a brown, sturdy boar-bristled brush. Contrary to present day, I had a mean thick mane back then. He didn’t go as far as the ribbons but surely tried his best with my tender head. Looking back, I cherish the moment now, but back then, the overload of tightly gripping bubbles and my little weathered scalp would tell you otherwise.
Cherry wanted to present a real portrayal of Black fathers who are involved with their kids, differing from the deadbeat trope society would want you to believe. And his project did just that and more. It’s been a fantastic journey thus far. We have literally been watching and growing with the project since its inception. Hair Love was later adapted into a beloved illustrated book. The beautiful and adventurous Hair Love short film went on to win an Academy Award® for Best Short Film, immediately solidifying the iconic status of the book in our hearts. Now, we’ve come to another iteration of the project with The Love Family from creator Matthew A. Cherry and Sony Pictures Animation debuting tomorrow, Thursday, September 21, on Max (formerly HBOMax) entitled Young Love. Watch the trailer below.
The 12-episode season takes us on a journey with Zuri, Stephen, Angela and the rest of their family as they maneuver through life’s ups and downs. Angela is in remission from cancer, trying to find her footing again, Stephen is riding the ever-fickle rollercoaster ride of the music industry attempting to make his mark and Zuri and the rest of the family help to balance out all the isms of life that come their way.
Young Love is backed by a stellar cast: Scott Mescudi (Stephen Love), Issa Rae (Angela Young), Brooke Monroe Conaway (Zuri Young Love), Loretta Devine (Gigi Young), Harry Lennix (Russell Young), Tamar Braxton (Star), Sheryl Lee Ralph (Sheree) and additional voices.
As a naturalista, I gushed about the importance of this book and film anytime I had the chance. This project is just as important now as it was then. While we continue to dispel the derogatory and opposing discourse of our hair, seeing it continuously celebrated in media and in other facets is exactly the reinforcement that’s needed.
I’m really looking forward to watching this with Z. He’s always ready for new Black shows on deck and after seeing this trailer, he already told me to remind him when it debuts and not to forget. However, the mind of a 5-year-old is as intuitive as an elephant’s. I have a feeling I will be the one reminded come Thursday. Mark your calendars accordingly.
Young Love will debut with four episodes on Thursday, September 21 on Max. The twelve-episode season continues with four episodes weekly, leading up to the season finale on Thursday, October 5.
Until next time…