Book: That Good Hair Girl


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In 1920, Annie R. Lewis was set to be the first African American to complete high school in Calexico, California.  All was well until the town learned she could be validictorian.  News of her achievement was ballyhooed nationally in “race papers” (i.e.: African American owned newspapers).  No mention of her achievement was found in any of California’s publications.

Fierce local outrage prompted school officials to consider numerous corrective options, including cancelling the graduation ceremony.  Having been from overt racism by her educated parents, Annie did not understand the problem.

A true story underlies this dramatized version of Annie’s coming of age.  The nine-chapter prose-poem follows Annie’s life form a segregated but sheltered childhood in racist Louisiana to her abrupt realization that racism was inescapable..

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Annie was discovered while conducting research for the textbook, “Juneteenth 101: Popular Myths and Forgotten Facts”.


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