Back to Natural is a 69-minute documentary film that reveals the shocking truth about hair politics, and racial identity in Black communities and beyond. Directed by New York City based Clinical Psychologist Gillian Scott-Ward, the film was inspired by the work she was doing in her clinical practice and her own drive to go natural.
I struggled because I was encouraging young people of color to live authentically despite the consequences yet I wasn’t living fully authentically myself,” she says. Gillian, like many Black women around the world had her hair chemically processed at the age of 8 because “that’s what’s done.”
Often Black parents make the choice for their children to straighten their hair to avoid pushback from their community and schools. It is not uncommon for children to be banned from school or otherwise punished for wearing their hair in its natural curly, coily or kinky state or in traditional African braids.
In the workplace, it is legal to discriminate against Black people who wear their hair in its natural state or in traditional styles on the basis that it is “unprofessional,” “threatening,” or “unacceptable.”
“These are some of the ‘invisible’ injustices that Black people deal with and it needs to be addressed so healing can happen,” the director says. “It’s damaging to internalize messages that there is something inherently wrong with you.”
Join us on this journey of discovery and enlightenment while celebrating our history and natural styles that are taking the world by storm.