A new short film that showcases the Black hair experience is set to premiere at the Major Owens Community Center in Brooklyn later this month. Presented by Brooklyn’s AbunDance Academy of the Arts, the film "Crown" will premiere on May 12.
The film tells the story of an aspiring young ballet dancer trying to tame her hair into submission as she embarks on the most important audition of her life.
The coming-of-age story celebrates Black hair, dance and beauty and aims to amplify curls, kinks, frizz and afros everywhere while encouraging everyone to honor their crowns.
“'Crown' is relevant to our organization AbunDance because we welcome diversity and inclusion daily, we celebrate our students from all backgrounds and experiences,” said Karisma Jay, MFA, co-creator of the film.
“We teach our students about their history and educate them on the sacrifices of those who have come before us.”
Jay co-created the film, which features original music by Agyakomah, with Nofisat Almaroof.
“With our work, we create a safe space for students of all ages to feel welcome and important. Given the discrimination people of color face daily, hair discrimination is one of the most pervasive and prominent. Especially in the dance world, there are countless European aesthetics that create trauma and perpetuate exclusivity instead of inclusivity. 'Crown' is here to help change that, one fro at a time,” Jay said.
The premiere event for Crown will be held on May 12, with a VIP reception beginning at 7:00pm and general doors at 8:00pm.
Following a screening of the short film, Malika Lee Whitney will moderate a panel discussion and talk back.
The post-screening event will also include DJ MIIIKS and a live performance by indie afro-fusion artist Agyakomah, as well as local vendors.
The May 12 event will also serve as a fundraiser in support of the AbunDance Academy of the Arts. The academy is a nonprofit organization that works to make the arts accessible through hands-on instruction and partnerships with community organizations to provide after-school programs centered on the arts and youth mentorship.
The Major Owens Community Center is located at 1561 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn. Tickets for the event are $20-$50. For more information, click here.