Category: <span>Book</span>


Media Mentions

The Almanac

I think the Kickstarter was successful because we’re finally acknowledging the elephant in the room and finally starting to have courageous conversations about racism.”


…communicating to kids that they have agency is a teachable moment from this book. And if their agency is limited, then this book will communicate that adults can help to amplify kids’ voices.

Tri-City Voice

Marissa McGee has written a book called Free The Curls about what kids can do if they encounter injustice … even if they encounter injustice on wash day.


Check back for events and book signings.

Press Release

Want to feature feature Free the Curls? Please feel free to reach out to Marissa. In the meantime, please take a look at this media kit.


Maliyah is an inquisitive six-year old who loves to read books and watch cartoons. When she and her mom visit a store to buy shampoo for wash day, they notice all the products for her hair type are locked up. Maliyah and her mom must decide — buy the products or take a stand?

You can order Free the Curls today.

ASL Translation of Free the Curls

Translation by Arlene Ngalle-Paryani

What People Are Saying About Free the Curls

The story and the illustrations were instantly relatable for my own 6 year old children. It was heart-warming to see them get excited not only relating to the curly hair experiences of Maliyah but to also see their genuine curiosity to the real world injustice Maliyah later encounters. This book is not only a wonderful “mirror” and “window” for young children but also a great entry point to reflect (for children AND adults) on how we recognize and navigate bias and inspire agency for young children. As a parent and educator it is a must have book for my libraries. I hope we get to see more stories through Maliyah/ Marissa’s lens soon! 

Early Childhood Educator

The book is wonderful. It tells a story that is very relatable, easy to read, and sparks interest.

Retired Educator

This book is charming, heart-warming, and NECESSARY. Marissa addresses a real world problem in ways that are relatable for both children and adults. She elegantly infuses Black culture into the book while addressing the topic in a way that is relatable to everyone. I highly recommend this book for children, adults, educators, and students. PS – you won’t want to miss the ending!



As a small business owner, Marissa launched Free the Curls on Kickstarter. The campaign was a huge success! You can check it out if you’re interested, or just go ahead and pre-order your copy now.

A special thank you to each and every person who supported Free the Curls on Kickstarter! You made this book come to life! Thank you for empowering others (myself included) through your generosity.

  • Adia Gooden
  • A. Dionne
  • Aditi Chokshi
  • Ajani Barclay Husbands
  • Alicia McGee
  • Alyson Wood Illich
  • A Mellberg
  • Dr. Andrea Marshall
  • Angel Denese Puckett
  • Angelique Burton
  • Anita King
  • Anna Takahashi
  • Ann Funn
  • Bianca Duenas
  • Candace Jones
  • Carla Saxton Temenak
  • Cathy Due
  • The Charbonneaus
  • Cheryl Cantafio
  • Chickadee
  • Chika O. Okafor
  • The Children of Stumbling Block Daycare
  • Chris Bischof
  • Christine Hetzel
  • Colleen Saldivar
  • Cynthia Cooksey
  • Daniel Sean Bradley
  • Diane Adriaenssens
  • Dominique Bozant
  • Ellen Lehman
  • Erika Owen
  • Erin Quinn
  • Floyd Milner Jr
  • Heather Renfro
  • Helen Kim
  • Holly Wilson
  • Ivy Robertson
  • Jammie Brown
  • Jarvis P. Gause
  • Jason Hinckson
  • Jeanette Pine
  • Jennifer Bluestein
  • Jennifer Foster
  • Jen Sylvia
  • Judy Lit
  • Julie Chai
  • Justin Knight
  • Justin Turner
  • Kara Cashwell
  • Karen M Christian
  • Kari Neilan (They/Them)
  • Kenya Nelson
  • Kish
  • Kwynn Z
  • Dr. LaWanda Wesley
  • Lily H.
  • Luis A. Torres
  • Luis Ferreyra
  • Madeline Kronenberg
  • Martha Hanks
  • Megan Lawson
  • Melissa
  • Miklos Raibon
  • Muffin Strauter
  • Nana W.
  • Nicole Nelson Kamath
  • Nicole Perrie-Nguyen
  • Obinna Emenike
  • OUSD Early Childhood Education Dept.
  • Paz Pardo
  • Rico and Loreyna
  • Rocky Due
  • Sandra Richie
  • Sarah Heath Johnson
  • The Scotts
  • Shanna Birkholz-Vasquez
  • Sheila Ongwae
  • The Silgals Family
  • Siobhan Greatorex-Voith
  • Spartan Oga
  • Stephanie Garcia Fields
  • Susan Edwards
  • Tania Laden
  • Taurean K. Brown
  • Tee Thior
  • Thembi Thompson
  • Thersha Lewis
  • Tiffany Mills
  • Tori Eichleay
  • Torrie the Great
  • Victoria Vargas
  • The Wachtel Pronovost Family
  • Wilhemina Tyler
  • William McGee
  • Yvette Manns


Marissa is an anti-bias educator. She holds a B.A. in Sociology with a focus on social stratification and inequality and a M.A. in Elementary Education, both from Stanford University. Marissa taught in Washington, D.C. for ten years. She took time off to travel before returning to the Bay Area where she now serves as a Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and a lecturer. As an anti-bias educator, Marissa strives to create books where Black children can see reflections of themselves and children who do not identify as Black can engage in perspective taking.