Left to the devices of the American public education system, one might come to believe that the history of black people began at slavery. One 6-year-old girl and her mother hope to dispel that misconception by providing children with broader, more global imagery that explores the diversity, beauty, and culture of native-born black people in Africa and America. To that end, Vanae James-Bey and her mother, Veronica Bey created “The Indigenous Adventures of Princess Vanae,” a coloring book all about Black indigenous cultures around the world.

For Bey, a Florida native who now lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands, instilling a sense of culture was very important as she began to develop the homeschooling curriculum for her daughter. "We tend to stick to a more Afrocentric curriculum and noticed how hard it was to find specific materials for lessons and how many other parents [and] students must feel the same,” she told Atlanta Black Star. Out of that deficit came the concept for the coloring book.

Designing the book was a family affair. Based on her mother's lesson plans, Vanae came up with the concept. Her uncle, Johnathan Ellerbee then sketched pictures of Vanae that were later digitized by artist Johanne Immis. The coloring book, which went on sale March 31, has been met with great reception. “We’ve received tons of positive feedback, with orders from Australia to Amsterdam,” Bey said. “Parents asking for one for boys are as negative as the feedback gets.”

“We plan on making more volumes because we couldn’t fit all cultures into one,” Bey said. "Wherever Black people are in the world as a distinct culture, we plan to explore them all.” We look forward to more adventures to come! You can purchase your copy for $12.95 from PrincessVanae.com.