Braids and Belonging, On Writing a Story of a Girl from South Sudan

IBBY UKExcerpt from “Braids and Belonging”  my article  in IBBY LINK, Spring-Summer, 2015 the journal of  IBBY UK, International Board of Books for Young People in the United Kingdom.

“From the beginning of my years with the girls of Sudan, it was so much about hair. I saw how the styles were a vital part of their identity and a part of their sense of belonging within their community.   A young Sudanese man told me, “Only if a girl grows up in Africa does she know how to do the braids.” It was art to me as I watched the braiders’ fingers fly on the tiny strands of hair….