Alabama State Alumna Eartha Dunston Wins Book of the Year Award

Last Updated on May 27, 2023

Alabama State University alumna Eartha Dunston has earned an award for her children’s book that celebrates a young girl’s ever-changing natural hair texture and styles.
Author Eartha Dunston and her book The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney

Alabama State University alumna Eartha Dunston (‘99) recently was named the 2016 winner of the Black Pearls Literary Excellence Book of the Year Award for her first children's book, “The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney.”

The Hair Adventure of Princess Lindsey Sidney

In “The Hair Adventure of Princess Lindsey Sidney,” Dunston introduces readers to a beautiful princess who celebrates her hair as it transitions textures and styles throughout the week. Dunston said she spent hours every Saturday trying to get her daughter’s hair straight.

“It was never as sleek or straight as I thought it should be,” Dunston said. “Some days, I would let it frizz up to its natural state. She always stood in the mirror to admire her hair. At times it would be a huge pile of unshapely frizz.”

Eartha Dunston noticed that when she told her daughter she was a beautiful princess, she believed it because she told her so.

“That made me realize the importance of instilling a positive self-image in her regardless of the state of her hair,” Dunston said. “I want parents and educators to know the importance of instilling a positive self-image in our little girls regardless of their hair texture. I see girls as young as six years old, crying and dealing with self-esteem issues because their hair isn't straight. It is up to us as parents to teach our children they are beautiful and to make sure they know beauty is not defined by one image. We are subconsciously taught by society that straight is better, and I want to dispel that myth.”

As a clinical social worker, Dunston’s passion for helping others through life’s obstacles has led her to write several forthcoming books, including “Grandma is Dancing in Heaven” to help children cope with the loss of a loved one; a book to assist with the effects of military deployment on small children; and her memoir, “Chasing Dreams in the Midst of the Storm.”

Attending Alabama State University

Dunston, a native of Miami, graduated cum laude from ASU with a bachelor’s degree in social work and earned a master’s degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She said it was during her freshman year at ASU that she first realized her love for writing.

“ASU played a pivotal role in the call to be a writer. I wrote and performed my first piece of poetry right there in Thelma Glass Auditorium,” she said. “To my surprise, I got a standing ovation. I was shocked and excited that my words could cause that reaction. I knew in that instant that I wanted to be a writer.”

Eartha Dunston said that ASU gave her a solid foundation, and she wants future and current students to know that there is opportunity to grow and learn at ASU.

“ASU is a great place to get a quality education, but you will get so much more. It's a place that allows you to discover yourself and what the world has to offer,” Dunston said. “At the end of my undergraduate journey, when I walked across the stage, I knew I had received more than just a degree. I also received a lifetime of lessons, rich in cultural experiences, and I felt elevated and empowered to go out and make a difference in this world.”

The Hair Adventure of Princess Lindsey Sidney” is available to purchase at and Barnes & Noble.

Connect with Eartha Dunston

For more information about Eartha Dunston visit: or follow her on Facebook at:

Source: Timothy C. Ervin, Alabama State University

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