l_0875ce99c4215982da968a77c792e7f9By now most everyone has heard of the copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Filmmaker Regina Kimbell against Chris Rock/HBO, concerning the movie “Good Hair.” According to the press release, “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage” was copied by Chris Rock after he and his production team viewed and apparently recorded the film in June of 2007.

When Kimbell saw the trailer for “Good Hair,” she immediately saw the similarities and was stunned. “I had a feeling of disbelief and disappointment, so overwhelming that all I thought was I am seeing my film with a different title.” To read the entire official press release visit www.facebook.com.

The origins of “My Nappy ROOTS”

In 2002, my daughter (Brighton Lynscot) was invited to participate in the NAACP ACT- SO 5 minute film competition while in high school. She had been wearing these beautiful semi-twist locs at the time, and being in a diverse school she got interesting responses from her assorted group of friends. The Whites and Asians liked it. The African America kids were ready to send Brighton to a therapist. And we thought, “what’s wrong with that picture?”

A week into the project, I was researching in the Los Angeles downtown library – there were no ‘hair’ books readily in the library at that time. I researched Africa, the Middle Passage, the Harlem Renaissance etc. I became more and more engrossed with the history and business story that I had never heard before. I thought, what a great way to address African American history.

Finally, a month later my daughter and I hopped on the train to ATL and went to our first Bronner Brothers show. That was it!

What is “My Nappy ROOTS” about?

MNR is about embracing the natural beauty we all possess. MNR is about understanding a mindset that was placed before us by our ancestors in order to protect us, and today we still find ourselves judging each other based on our hair choices.

The film empowers us with the stories of the innovative entrepreneurs that created the Black hair business; their achievements were created in times of great adversity. Given the current state of affairs, this topic will always be a passionate subject that needs to be treated with a certain reference.

Hence the name, “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey through Black Hair-itage” the name represents everything it says, especially the hair-itage and film’s journey.

Her personal hair journey

My journey has been one of change. As a creative person, I bore easily. I’m not one to sit in a salon for 6-plus hours and then spend my money. Man, if I’m going to sit for 6 hours, I think someone should be paying me – lol. Plus my hair would look great when I left the salon, but it just would not last.

I always liked low maintenance styles that can be fast and funky. I had been natural for years, before the documentary. I wore an afro for a long while, then I colored it before that got popular; then I did my share of twists, braids, French braids, silky locs, short knotty afros, now locs. I’m at the ‘in between’ stage and feeling a little bored …so the journey continues.

On the subject of today’s rise in natural hair wearers and whether or not natural hair is a passing fad she states, I’d like to think, since people are much more aware of what we are

doing to our bodies it won’t be a passing fad. Just like we’re more aware of the planet, the environment and going green; it’s the same thing. Once you understand the damage you may be causing, it’s a little harder to do something contrary to your beliefs. Also the veil has been lifted, people can see more clearly. Our hair IS beautiful in it’s natural state.

Her advice to those contemplating going natural

Do it! You will be pleasantly surprised; do your research, try natural hair products and watch your healthy hair grow. You may experience an unexpected freedom which allows you to live a more balanced life.

How to find out more about “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey through Black Hair-itage”

The best way to stay in touch with the film is to join our MNR Facebook fan page. To support MNR, which is an independent film send an E-mail to [email protected] with your donation amount, and we will send you a PayPal link. All who donate will receive a free music download from the soundtrack, and supporters will receive film/DVD (indie producer) credit.

The website My Nappy ROOTS The Movement — www.mynappyrootsthemovement.com is in the process of being redesigned into a community, so be sure to check it out, as well as the My Nappy ROOTS YouTube channel and MySpace page.

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  • Nyota

    This film looks soo much better because it seems like it goes deeper than Chris Rock’s Good Hair and I can definitely see why she was trying to sue. After seeing Kimbell’s film I wonder why Chris Rock didn’t just “join forces” with Regina Kimbell??

    Are they selling it as a DVD…will definitely check out their site.

  • Lisa

    There is always someone jumping up to claim they did something first once it’s making money.

    • gloria

      Well if you read the lawsuit, the film started winning awards in 2006 and this film really did start with her daughter. ‘Good hair’ did take the India segment from ‘My nappy roots’, so I don’t understand quite what you mean. ‘Yawn’ on Good hair.

  • Can’t take a position about the lawsuit except to say that it sucks to think/feel/believe that someone else has taken your idea for their own. What I can say is that natural hair is beautiful and has endless creative possibilities once you can make that shift from seeing yourself through Eurocentric images and ideas about manageability and style, and open up to another form of beauty on the planet, an African-centered one.

    • somebody out there

      No, not an African-Centered one, lovely as that would be. A center-less notion of beauty for the planet please. One where beauty is multifaceted and ALL ethnicities can be celebrated.

  • I should have said a pre-colonial African-centered perspective. Since colonization by Europe, including the appearance of missionaries, many if not most Africans have the same struggles we have in holding African traditions and features in esteem.

  • Vv

    I didn’t see “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey through Black Hair-itage” but from this clip it just seems like this movie is more about defending (the beauty of) natural hair and on the other side ”Good Hair” is more about the (crazy!) industry of weaves/chemical relaxers. Two different aspects of one subject!