East Cleveland native Dominique Kizer wrote “Kinky Hair Don’t Care” to motivate young Black girls to love their natural hair.

“In the African-American community, embracing your natural hair is sometimes frowned upon/ and or not seen as the norm. I wanted to teach little brown girls that it is okay to love and wear your “kinky” hair,” said Kizer, a 6th grade English teacher at Langston Hughes Academy.

“I want them to know that our hair is beautiful and that we are beautiful! I hoped that after reading my book they would feel comfortable wearing their natural hair.”

Kizer says the inspiration came after dealing with her own hair journey. At just 4 years old, Kizer says she had her hair chemically straightened. Hair discrimination is real, and Black women are disproportionally affected. Lawmakers are striving to ban such discrimination, with legislation called the CROWN Act, which has already passed in several states like New York and California.

The CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” is a law that prohibits race-based hair discrimination, which is the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles including braids, locs, twists or Bantu knots.

“I believe hair, hair discrimination, and texturism is a sensitive issue for the Black community because we have to constantly deal with discrimination, injustices, and unfairness because society does not see the hair that we were born with as professional or beautiful,” Kizer said. “We should not have to alter our natural state because people that do not look like us do not feel comfortable.”