Challenges: Zora Howard's Bi-Racial Hair – The Film

August 4, 2012

This short film Bi-Racial Hair, is a satirical look at the racial tension young African American's experience who are of mixed ethnic backgrounds. Using Zora Howard's poem as the thread, the film follows her initial comedic rant about the challenges she faces in stylizing her hair to her personal frustrations of being teased about her ethnicity by her African American peers. The film weaves between fictional reanctments, archival footage of the civil rights movement and Zora's infamous live spoken word performance, Illustrating the struggles youth of mixed color face with identity and social position. Zora's resolution about proposing a 'new race' sheds light on the complexity and depth of the racist wounds our nation still faces 150 years after the abolishment of slavery.

I was just informed Zora Howard, now 16 yrs. old is the new 1st-ever NYC Youth Poet Laureate! She won the title on October 6, 2009 at the legendary Nuyorican Poet's Cafe!  She was only 13 when she performed Bi-Racial Hair live in front of 1,500 of her peers and adult allies at the Urban Word NYC Teen Poetry Slam.