The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Song about hair came from the heart

Mazzarino is a driving force on Sesame Street

Joey Mazzarino has written plenty of funny and memorable sketches, stories and jokes in his 20-plus years at Sesame Street, but none of them ever had as much impact as a song he wrote last year.

"I Love My Hair" went from being a brief segment on the popular children's show to becoming a sensation on YouTube, to going viral when the Sesame Street video was "mashed up" with singer Willow Smith's "I Whip My Hair."

Paul McGinnis<BR><BR>Joey Mazzarino
Joey Mazzarino performs as Stinky the Stinkweed on the set of Sesame Street.

Mazzarino's song, which celebrates the hair of African-American women, was inspired by Segi, the daughter he and his wife, actress Kerry Butler, adopted from Ethiopia. "Segi was gravitating toward white Barbies and wanting to get her hair to be long and flowing like my wife's," said Mazzarino, a member of Advent Lutheran Church, New York. "We thought it might be specific to white parents with African-American children. But with Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair, I realized this was a much larger issue with African-American women."

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February issue


Embracing diversity