“True beauty is skin deep!!”….“Loving the skin that I’m in!”
As part of my regular routine, every morning I scroll through my Apple News app to see what is going on in the world. And yesterday I got wind of some exciting news!! Now as someone who is a collector of children’s books (particularly ones that feature Black children), so as you can imagine I was excited to know and get Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o’s 2019 book, “Sulwe”. This is a visually, captivating book that speaks to the Black girl experience, as it tells the story of a young, dark-skinned Black girl who wants to be accepted and seen as beautiful. And even before reading the first page of the book I was immediately drawn in based off of the cover!! All the varying blues and purple colors, the stars twinkling in the background, and then right front and center and image of a precocious Black girl reaching out! Here is a book that is literally talking to my 7-year old self!!
As noted by Nyong’o, “The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart…It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love. Sulwe is a mirror for dark-skinned children to see themselves, a window for those who may not be familiar with colorism, to have understanding and empathy.”
That excitement would continue as I would learn that Netflix has plans to unveil “Sulwe” (a New York Times bestselling children’s book) as an animated musical feature with Nyong’o as producer!!
This is definitely something to celebrate as the animated musical feature will continue to highlight and showcase what the book has already established by providing another platform for Black girls to embrace the idea of #selflove; while also addressing issues of colorism and re-writing the beauty standard narrative. Having this message personified through various mediums of popular culture is crucial and can and is life-changing! For little Black girls to see themselves presented in a book and on the television screen that is shown in an empowering light, is quite powerful!!
And to tide you over before the animated feature hits Netflix check out Lupita reading “Sulwe” on the Netflix original series, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices! see below:
“I cannot run away from who I am and my complexion or the larger society, and how they may view that.” ― Lupita Nyong’o
“I am dripping melanin and honey. I am black without apology.” ― Upile Chisala