Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: 

Genre: C:CHILDREN Fiction

Born: Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Cherry is a Chicago native.

Biographical and Professional Information

Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver turned filmmaker who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, and the Baltimore Ravens. In 2007 he retired and moved to LA to pursue a career in entertainment. Now, he directs music videos and short films, including "Hair Love," the animated short film on which his book is based. Matthew was named to Paste Magazine's list of Directors to Watch in 2016.

In 2020, the seven minute animated short film of "Hair Love" won an Oscar for Best Animated Short.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- """Hair Love"""

-- *Image Award, NAACP

-- *Windows and Mirrors from Black #OwnVoices Creators List, Publishers Weekly, 2020

-- *Starred Review, School Library Journal

-- *Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2022