1 user

My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage (2010)

"My Nappy Roots" explores the politics, culture and history of African American hair. Is there such a thing as "Good and Bad" hair? How has the Eurocentric ideal of beauty influenced black ... See full summary »


Regina Kimbell, Jay Bluemke (co-director)




Credited cast:
Cherrell Cherrell ... Self
Kim Fields ... Self
Vivica A. Fox ... Self
Ed Gardner ... Self
Gary Gardner Gary Gardner ... Self
Lalah Hathaway ... Self
Ella Joyce ... Self
Ananda Lewis ... Self
Tre Major Tre Major
Elise Neal ... Self
Jeff Redd Jeff Redd ... Self
Malcolm-Jamal Warner ... Self


"My Nappy Roots" explores the politics, culture and history of African American hair. Is there such a thing as "Good and Bad" hair? How has the Eurocentric ideal of beauty influenced black hair through modern history? "My Nappy Roots" will vibrantly depict some of the complex social, political and cultural influences that have dominated the dialogue surrounding African and African American hairstyles from styling patterns and cultural trends to the business of black hair care products, services and advertising. The film will use the evolution of black hairstyles as a touchstone to address the broader struggle of African American people in their search for social control, identity and economic independence. Written by Regina Kimbell and Jay Bluemke

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Black people are the only group in America with "political hair"




Did You Know?


I love you more
by Rozli
See more »

User Reviews

An Original Cinematic Approach
2 February 2010 | by OutsideHollywoodLandSee all my reviews

"My hair ain't bad, it never did no robberies or smoke crack," Michael K. Williams.

The recent release of Chris Rock's new movie, "Good Hair", brings up an issue that Hollywood would rather ignore. We're talking, of course, about the creative rip-off of one artist's idea or content by another artist for commercial gain and recognition. It's no secret that Chris Rock was sued for copyright infringement by Regina Kimbell, whose 2007 documentary "My Nappy Roots" won for Best Documentary at the 2007 Pan African Film Festival. Since Rock has more Hollywood clout, he easily won in court.

Ms. Kimbell's story is all too common in Hollywood, where creative license is ignored and justice favors those with more power, money, and influence. In an interview for Deborah Nathan of Andrews Publications, "...she began researching "My Nappy Roots" in 2002 after helping her teenage daughter make a film project about black hairstyles. The project inspired her to make a documentary about the history, culture and social issues surrounding the issue of black hair care... According to the complaint, one of Rock's assistants contacted Kimbell in 2007 to tell her that Rock wanted to get involved with the documentary. After several conversations with the assistant, Kimbell says, she arranged to screen her film for Rock. After the screening, Rock allegedly told Kimbell that he was doing a "little film" for HBO about black hair and that he had learned a lot from her documentary. Kimbell says Rock had no intention of helping her and instead used the screening as a means of copying her ideas." It's interesting to note the similarities between the two films: Chris Rock waxes poetic about how he was inspired to do the film because of his daughter, he uses some of the same people in his interviews, and focuses on the hair market in India and visiting barbershops. Guess the judge was busy that day in court, right?) Yet the stark difference between the two movies is that My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage makes a much stronger socio-political statement about how African-Americans perceive their hair as an extension of their self-esteem and cultural expression. Ms. Kimbell takes personal reflections, song, poetry, and historical information to create a visual montage that strikes a universal chord for all African-Americans. Indeed, it goes further than Chris Rock's movie as a clarion call for all people of color who have struggled with negative self-images perpetuated by racism and the mass media to a renewed sense of pride.

Chris Rock's movie, Good Hair, also won an award at the Sundance Film Festival, but that's where the creative similarity ends. Rock is content to take a more superficial and generic look at the same subject, probably because he knew that Ms. Kimbell had done her homework well and there was nothing of substance that he could add to his Copy Cat celluloid treatment. So, Chris Rock did what he's good at – making a humorous movie about African-American hairstyling for today's generation. Think of "Nappy Roots Lite" when you view Mr. Rock interviewing his subjects as fodder for his usual snappy one-liners.

While Ms. Kimball lost her lawsuit in October, 2009, the fact that "Good Hair" did poorly at the box office indicates that public sentiment may have judged in her favor as the film with a more original and thoughtful approach. It's this reviewer's observation that "My Nappy Roots" will be the film that educators, film historians, and creative artists cite when referencing this important subject in future decades.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

11 April 2010 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Africa See more »


Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed