Hayden5 celebrates Black Hair in new PSA

Crown
(The Crown is new project from Hayden5)

When most people talk about The Crown, it’s usually assumed to be about the hit TV series on Netflix. Not in this case. National Crown Day is a day of solidarity for the human rights of Black women, men, and children to wear their natural hair boldly, and proudly, without the fear of being discriminated against in school or the workplace.

Also known as the “Black Hair Independence Day,” this unofficial holiday celebrates Afro-textured hair – or the tight curls, coils and kinks most often associated with Black and indigenous people of color.

Production company Hayden5 recently teamed up with Phenomenal, a female-driven media brand and creative agency dedicated to underrepresented communities, to create and finance “Own Your Crown,” a PSA which celebrated National Crown Day on July 3rd. 

Conceived as part of a larger initiative by Phenomenal to extend the national day into Crown Month through the month of July, the PSA is a poetic tribute to the legacy, rituals, and strength of Black women and their hair. 

Directed by JJ Anderson, “Own Your Crown” (:60) portrays Black hair as a representation of intergenerational power through a revolving sequence of various women fashioning their textured crowns — from braids and locs to twists and knots. A moving poem, written by Yazmin Monet Watkins, reinforces the PSA’s message of empowerment and self-love around the authentic Black experience of hair. Watch below:


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The Crown Coalition, an alliance of organizations, including founding members Dove, National Urban League, Color Of Change, and Western Center on Law and Poverty, declared July 3rd as National Crown Day last year to mark the one-year anniversary of the Crown Act (“Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”), which ensures protection against race-based hairstyle discrimination in the workplace and public schools. 

Working closely with Phenomenal Founder and CEO Meena Harris and Head of Partnerships Samantha Shipp Warrick, and JJ Anderson, they cast the spot primarily with real women representing the Black communities of Los Angeles.

They extended the local spirit to the shoot, which took place at an Inglewood-based salon, and featured Black hair products from local favorite Bephies Beauty Supply, with owner Beth Birkett providing the products for use as props in the spot. 

“Meena and Samantha were incredible collaborators and we all rallied around this important message of feminine strength and identity,” concludes Dion Matthews, Hayden5 Producer. “At Hayden5, we love when our ideas and creativity get to serve a larger purpose, so needless to say, we were thrilled to help support the Phenomenal mission to extend the Crown Act.” 

In addition to the PSA, as part of the month-long Crown campaign, Phenomenal and its like-minded brand partners have organized a number of initiatives and events:

  • A four-part conversation series with thought leaders exploring the personal and professional barriers experienced by Black women concerning their hair, the progress made in the last five years in both policy and hair products, and to discuss how society can improve the work-identity journey for all. Guests include Hannah Diop, Founder and CEO of Sienna Naturals, Meena Harris, Founder and CEO of Phenomenal, and more. 
  • A product collaboration with Bephies Beauty Supply on a limited-edition “Crowning Glory” tee featuring iconic black hairstyles. $110, available at phenomenalwoman.us  

CREDITS:

AGENCY: Hayden5

PRODUCTION/POST: Hayden5

  • Director: JJ Anderson
  • Narration & Original Poetry: Yazmin Monet Watkins
  • Producers: Stephanie Gaweda, Ken Morris, Dion Matthews
  • Account Producer: Sara Beamish
  • Director of Post Production: Melissa Balan
  • Post Producer: Tiffany Brathwaite
  • Director of Photography: Natalia Moscoso
  • Hair Stylist: Jacqueline Delaney
  • Production Designer: Lee Yaniv
  • Wardrobe Stylist: Natellie Cate
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