Tag: dark skin

Lupita Nyong’o Authors Children’s Book “Sulwe” to Help Young Readers “See More Dark Skin in a Beautiful Light”

“Sulwe” by Lupita Nyong’o (image via amazon.com); Lupita Nyong’o (photo via commons.wikipedia.org)

According to popsugar.com, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is now a published author, and her children’s book Sulwe — which means “star” in the Luo language of her native Kenya — sends a powerful and much-needed message.

The 48-page book, to be released on October 15, focuses on the heartwarming, whimsical story of a young girl named Sulwe who goes on a journey to discover her own unique beauty.

“Sulwe has skin the color of midnight,” the summary reads. “She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.”

In her October 1st Instagram post, Nyong’o shared a photo of her 5-year-old self and reflected on how she felt about herself:

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This is 5-year-old me. I reflected on this little girl's feelings and fantasies when I decided to write my children's book, #Sulwe. With this book, I wanted to hold up a mirror for her. Here's why: As a little girl reading, I had all of these windows into the lives of people who looked nothing like me, chances to look into their worlds, but I didn't have any mirrors. While windows help us develop empathy and an understanding of the wider world, mirrors help us develop our sense of self, and our understanding of our own world. They ground us in our body and our experiences. #Sulwe holds up a mirror for dark-skinned children especially, to see themselves reflected immediately, and it is a window for all the others to cherish peering into. Colorism, society's preference for lighter skin, is alive and well. It's not just a prejudice reserved for places with a largely white population. Throughout the world, even in Kenya, even today, there is a popular sentiment that lighter is brighter. I imagined what it would have been like for this little girl to turn the pages of her picture books and see more dark skin in a beautiful light. This book is my dream come true for kids like her today. #Sulwe arrives October 15. ✨ Link in bio to pre-order. #NationalBookMonth #BrightnessIsJustWhoYouAre

A post shared by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

Lupita went on to point out that, even at a young age, girls are taught that light skin is preferred over dark skin, and that books like Sulwe can help to encourage self-love for darker-skinned girls everywhere.

“Colorism, society’s preference for lighter skin, is alive and well. It’s not just a prejudice reserved for places with a largely white population. Throughout the world, even in Kenya, even today, there is a popular sentiment that lighter is brighter.”

To order Sulwe on Amazon, go to: https://amzn.to/2ozcMLQ

Nosa Akol, Teen Teased for Dark Skin, Wins $10,000 4-H Club Scholarship

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Nosa Akol (Photo via clutchmagonline.com)

Seventeen-year-old Nosa Akol was born in Sudan and moved to the states when she was 5 years-old. Akol says throughout her childhood and teens she was teased because of her dark skin. The taunts ate away at what little self-esteem her tumultuous life had permitted.

In response, she folded into herself and tried to disappear into the crowds at West Middle School, then Binghamton High in New York.  The sharp barbs shaped her personality.  “It made me really insecure when I passed by large groups,” she said.

But when she discovered the opportunities open to her through the 4-H Club, and Nosa, then a high school freshman, threw herself into one project after another.  As National 4-H Council has named Nosa the 2015 recipient of the 4-H Youth in Action Award, she seems well on her way.

“Through the work that I will do in my life, I want to be known as the person who saw an issue, became the change, and did something about it,” Nosa stated.

Nosa will receive a $10,000 scholarship and was honored on April 23 at National 4-H Council’s sixth annual Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C., but while Nosa look forwards to her bright future, she also remembers where she came from.

Before she graduates from BHS she’ll have partnered with 4-H alumnus and rising food star Lazarus Lynch to spearhead a Hunger Banquet and Poverty Simulation that will aim to encourage the community to help end world hunger.

“I was a shy hermit of a girl,” Nosa said, “and now I’m trying to make a difference.”

article via clutchmagonline.com