By Jamila Rowser & Robyn Smith. Published by Black Josei Press.
Softcover, 28 pages, B&W, 2018.
Wash Day is a slice-of-life comic that pays tribute to the beauty and endurance of Black women and their hair. The story follows Kimana, a 26-year-old woman living in the Bronx, as she cares for her long, thick hair. As Kim goes through her Sunday morning rituals, we see the highs and lows of her day—fresh coffee, rising rent, girl talk and catcalls.
Jamila, inspired by her own wash day ritual and desire to read more comics by and for women of color, decided to follow the words of the great Toni Morrison, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
The talented artist Robyn Smith brought Wash Day to life in the most beautiful and sensitive way. Robyn decided to peruse comics so she could tell stories that highlight the personal and societal aspects of Black womanhood. It is those very facets that she saw in Wash Day and drew her to the project, “There’s something radical about a story of a Black woman taking time for herself and taking care of herself in ways extremely specific to Blackness.”
The Wash Day story and script were refined and edited by the ever wise J.A. Micheline or JAM. JAM's own hair is a huge portion of her own self-identity and self-love. So, Wash Day was a joy for her to work on because the project, "conveyed the physical effort of this self-identity and self-love and taking it hand in hand with the quiet parts of many Black women's lives."
Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith will be creating the graphic novel The Wash Day Diaries, to be published by Chronicle Books in Fall 2021.
Note: Wash Day contains some nudity, profanity and marijuana use. Consider this if purchasing for minors, or be sure to receive a parent or guardian’s permission to purchase if you’re under 17.