Daddy's Little Princess, written by 7-year-old Morgan Taylor, introduces girls to black and brown royalty from around the world. Morgan believes that her book featuring diverse Princesses and Queens will inspire other girls to hold their heads high and 'rock a crown'.
This second-grade author is no stranger to feeling like she was unworthy of royalty. Daddy's Little Princess was born from a conversation between Morgan and her father, where she told him that she "didn't feel like a real princess."
The moment is captured in the book, which Morgan read aloud at the International Civil Rights Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.
"Morgan's eyes shone bright with amazement. 'Wow daddy, all these princesses are really cool and they're brown like me. I guess I really can be a princess.'"
Morgan's father, who is the co-author of Daddy's Little Princess and a former educator, pointed out that "diversity in literacy increases the educational success of minority children." He says Daddy’s Little Princesses does the opposite as “this book excites, ignites, and educates young readers,” in an effort to inform and build self-esteem.
Check out Morgan sharing the story with her peers.
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Women have a very special relationship with their hair. None more so, dare I say, than women of color. Oftentimes, their characters are judged and worth measured by the length, texture, style and even the color of their hair. In the African-American community the debate on 'good hair' vs. 'bad hair' is as old and rife with controversy as the debate between what constitutes 'light skinned' and 'dark skinned.'
There are many children’s authors who have tackled the issues young girls of color face with their hair. We own many of those remarkable books and have used them as gentle lessons to teach our own daughter to embrace her amazing hair. So it was not without much thought when we decided to write How I Wear My Amazing Hair and add our voice to the conversation about self-esteem through the self-expression of how one wears their hair. When a mother does her daughters hair, it’s an interpretation of how she wants her daughter to look to the world. When her daughter starts to ask for different styles she is becoming self-aware of her own identity and how SHE wants the world to look at her. As parents, we have experienced this, as have other parents, and we think real-life experiences are the best foundations for amazing books.
How I Wear My Amazing Hair is a celebration of style for young girls who embrace the versatility of their natural hair while recognizing the magic in a mother's hands when she is holding a comb. Drawing inspiration from our own daughter, our friends, and even the Internet, we have created a fun way to acknowledge the plethora of styles girls of color with different textures wear their hair.
As Comora’s Parents, we felt we could contribute to the conversation by not only showcasing some of the more popular styles but also illustrating the steps involved in making those styles possible. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive guide. How I Wear My Amazing Hair is but a brief glimpse behind the curtain for the uninitiated about the hair of girls of color. What better way for curious young girls NOT of color to broach the subject rather than spend years wondering only to grow up and finally work up the nerve to utter the almost always offensive, “Can I touch it?”
As any woman of color or woman in general will tell you, how she wears her hair is what sets her apart from other women, but it's also how its draws them together. It’s never too early to promote sisterhood while embracing the beauty of diversity. Readers who are familiar with the hair of girls of color will enjoy seeing popular styles come to life right before their eyes without having to sit still for hours with their heads at an awkward angle.
Self-esteem issues can start at a very young age. It’s also at a very young age when we as parents should promote self-expression as a positive. We hope you enjoy How I Wear My Amazing Hair and celebrate the beauty of diversity.
— Comora’s Parents.
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READ NEXT: Watch this adorable throwback video about natural hair from 'Sesame...
A Birthday Cake for George Washington by Ramin Ganeshram and Vanessa Brantly-Newton, tells the story of White House head chef, Hercules, and his young daughter, Delia, who are baking a birthday cake for the nation's first president. Since the release of the book though, Ganeshram's story has been met with heavy criticism.
Narrated by the daughter Delia, the two go on an adventure to find the missing ingredient, sugar, in order to make the president's birthday cake. Needless to say, the book ends with all being well, and a scrumptious birthday cake to boot. Yet, history tells us a different story altogether.
Ramin Ganeshram, author of the book, and well-known journalist defends her book, stating:
"Writing about history is a tricky thing. When books center on—or even refer to—diverse historical characters, things become even trickier. (SCHOLASTIC 2016).
Apparently, the jury is still out on whether you can accurately relay history and romanticize it at the same time.
What she seems to meticulously leave out is that George Washington's slaves may not have been too keen to celebrate the president's birthday with such enthusiasm, given his ruthless behavior. It should be dually noted that George Washington unlawfully kept Hercules, and nine other slaves captive in the White House, and the fact that Ganeshram was willing to idealize this situation proves that writing accurately about history isn't just tricky for the author, it's unnecessary.
In 1780, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a law for the gradual abolition of slavery, which granted slaves freedom after they lived in the state of Pennsylvania for six months. "After making a weak argument that he wasn’t a real Philly resident because his job necessitated his living there, Washington gave up on trying to wriggle out of his legal obligation and broke the law to keep Hercules and Delia enslaved," writes Pulliam-Moore.
Furthermore as Craig Laban noted in 2010, "That Hercules chose his master's big day, Feb. 22, as the moment to escape has been greeted with cheers of poetic justice." History did not end with a joyous birthday celebration, blowing out candles, and gift giving. It ended with the protagonist escaping for his very life.
As expected, Twitter had much to say about the book, and they held no punches:
Occasionally folks will talk about George being a slaveowner even thought that part is sugarcoated as evidenced in @raminganeshram's book.
— #CrimesOfGenocide (@NolanHack) January 15, 2016
I'm wondering, in the crafting of the book, if you had any regard for historical integrity @raminganeshram @nesterb
— Khallid Love (@DrLove_94) January 15, 2016
.@raminganeshram This work you have done is violent and condescending. I hope you are able to be empathetic and hold yourself accountable.
— Kimaniac (@theKimansta) January 15, 2016
The irresponsibility of creating a children's book that glamorizes the hardships of slavery is intentionally misleading.
@raminganeshram we are highly offended by the book
— Justin Henry (@jaysdaname) January 14, 2016
To say the...
Guillermo del Toro, the director that brought us films like Blade II, Hellboy, and Crimson Peak, is developing a movie adaptation of Alvin Schwartz' Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
I start development on a film based on a favorite book of youth: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! pic.twitter.com/yu31FkCz4K
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) January 14, 2016
Currently, del Toro is attached to the project as a producer; however, according to Variety, del Toro has entered this project with his eye on directing.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is known for its original art illustrated by Stephen Gammell, and del Toro says that Gammell's art will be a focusing point for the film version of Scary Stories.
To answer some questions on Scary Stories- of course we WILL have Stephen Gammell's imagery be preeminent on the film! Yeah!!
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) January 14, 2016
The production currently has no set release date, but the film is already catching buzz. Based on what we've already seen from del Toro in the past, Scary Stories could be a big hit for the horror movie genre.
I guess we're lucky he didn't win that Powerball.
Played Powerball. Lost. My plans was to buy an island, paint / dress myself in white and have a small person follow me around.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) January 15,...
There are countless ways in which the world we live has taken away our agency as black women. Whether it’s belittling a monumental triumph by calling us ugly (Serena Williams) or someone mocking our features and then appropriating them for their own. Our ability to speak freely has been targeted too; Sandra Bland spoke truths in her #sandyspeaks videos, which reached thousands. She shared how difficult it was to live in a world that criminalized black bodies and made us feel less than.
How do we stay encouraged? What are we supposed to do when we’re physically and mentally exhausted from arguing with others that our lives matter? Self-preservation is key. Through all of this we have to set aside time to take care of ourselves and love ourselves in order to stay vocal and keep fighting.
Over the past couple of weeks, some things I’ve personally found helpful are two books of poetry by Alex Elle. I first heard about her through Blavity’s post on “16 Uplifting Instagrams to Get Your Mind Right.” Her two books are very focused on self-love, healing and growth specifically for young black women.
Her first book, Words from a Wanderer, was published in 2013 and is a collection of poems exploring narratives of self-love amidst life’s challenges:
Alex Elle’s poetry tells her story with such a raw honesty that her work can be relatable to us all.
In her new book, Love in my Language, Elle’s voice has matured as she continues to tell stories about her life, love and how even when she’s been hurt, she is still worthy of greatness. Her words carry a powerful resonance, whether you're experiencing a good day or a difficult one.
Not only is she a poet, she also practices yoga and has great tips on how to keep a healthy body and mind on her Instagram and blog.
Take a break and embrace yourself using Alex Elle as a guide.
Check out her books here http://alexellebooks.bigcartel.com and Instagram: @alex_elle
*This is a special guest post written by Rachel Nyakako, French teacher, music lover and aspiring racism educator.
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