Press Release

Release Date: January 09, 2024
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

DALLAS – A 29-year-old woman is in the middle of a joyful juggling act as she begins to earn her doctorate in education while managing the business affairs of a children’s book she wrote and published Nov. 24, 2023.

Hailey Robinson, a Chickasaw citizen, has already earned a cosmetology license from The Paul Mitchell School of Cosmetology, two bachelor’s degrees from Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Arkansas, in speech communication and sociology, as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. She has applied to complete her doctorate from two schools and will make a selection by the time classes begin in the fall of 2024.

Being the author of a children’s book is a first for Robinson after a three-year journey to complete it.

“Malashia’s Magical Twists” is available online at Amazon, Apple Books and Barnes and Noble. It was inspired by her sister, Malashia Spencer, who is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation.

“The book is about a little girl who discovers the beauty of her natural hair through washday when she realizes her hair has magical powers and a mind of its own,” Robinson explained. Her sister inspired “Malashia’s Magical Twists” when she had a few “not so good conversations in school about her natural hair.”

“Once I found out about it, I had to figure out how to change her frame of reference when she thinks about herself and her own hair,” said Robinson.

“I told her ‘Why don’t we sit down and write a story.’ The book not only talks about self-care and hair care but also addresses bullying, diversity and inclusivity, self-esteem, and self-acceptance. When kids read it, they will be able to acknowledge their differences and understand they are perfectly fine.

“As a licensed cosmetologist, I also wanted to add a natural hair glossary and washday steps on how to care for one’s hair. It was really important for me to bridge the gap between entertainment and education. I wanted to make sure parents and children alike knew how to take care of their hair,” she explained.

She enjoyed collaborating with her sister on the book and enjoyed writing it, too. “I hired an editor to make suggestions and to clean everything up,” Robinson said with confidence. “That was the easiest part of the book for me. The most difficult part was working with my illustrator. It is difficult to explain your vision to someone when there are cultural barriers present,” the author explained.

In fact, illustrations and decisions concerning fonts, color and typeface colors proved to be the biggest time consumers for Robinson, who said her initial conversation with Malashia occurred when her sister was around 9 or 10. Now she is 13 and will enter school as a freshman in Tulsa County next year.

Born and reared in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Robinson works in Dallas, Texas, for a government contractor where she recruits top-notch students from various universities. She recruits in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Louisiana. She stepped into the job after being laid off from Microsoft and after working as a cosmetologist.

“I am in the process of starting my doctorate, and I’m a newly published author, so I am taking small steps and staying focused on the new job, my education and the book,” Robinson said.

A second book may be in her future as well, Robinson said since writing “Malashia’s Magical Twists” she has pondered writing a book about hair care for young boys.

Robinson acquired her Chickasaw heritage from her mother. Her great-grandmother, Liller (Anderson) Douglas, signed the Dawes Commission rolls, and their homestead is near voodford, Oklahoma. Her maternal grandmother, Alma Jean Douglas, currently lives in Milo, Oklahoma.