Lyrics: Temptations: Beauty is Only Skin Deep
So in love, sad as could be 'Cause a pretty face got the best of me Suddenly, you came into my life And gave it meaning and pure delight Now, good looks, I've learned to do without 'Cause now I know it's love that really counts
Some parents may not like what I am about to share concerning what we and how we knowingly and unknowingly teach separatism to our children.
I decided to write the series Julia Learns Knows and Grows Series so that I could write and publish books for Lil brown children. It was important to do so being an African American mom. I wanted to, no, I owed it to my race. I had to bring to life through pictures and words, a face that brown children would relate to. When my niece’s friend (a non-brown child) told me that my niece said I didn’t write the book about her for kids who are not brown and then she asked was it true? My heart sunk. I didn’t know how to answer. All the reason’s I had about there not been any books for us by us or my niece needing to see images such as herself in books to know she was beautiful and important. seemed inconsequential and selfish. At that moment I learned that books are not a reflection of our true beauty nor do the color of the children in between the pages of books defines our intelligence or self-worth. I knew from then on IT IS WHAT WE TEACH THEM.
I will admit it was the best feeling to be able to author and publish a book that my niece, “Julia” could smile and say, she looks like me.” Her eagerness to want to read more made me believe her worth elevated in her eyes when she saw this. It motivated me to turn one book about Julia into a series. The first series being Julia’s firsts. I imagined the inspiration to read more and more to be contagious for all brown children. I felt like a mad word scientist. I just knew a brown face would reshape the minds of all brown children creating reading geniuses. I do know and believe that there are so many brown children and the parents of brown children who never got the chance to experience seeing brown children in books, on TV representing strong, innovative creators of excellence. Not all of us but there needs to be a balance of what they see and read about. That their GREATNESS is skin deep. That we are brilliant and MAGICAL from the core of our being.
I want more for my niece and more for all BROWN children. I want to teach her to love herself and FEEL greatness within herself because SHE IS GREAT. I need her to know she is brilliantly made. She is creative, silly even impish at times. I want her to also relate to more than what she sees on the surface of not just herself but everyone. I want my stories to teach that magic and excellence can be transparently beautiful.
I want her to know that when she reads about a girl who loves painting like her or the music types that she likes they have something in common. The great thing about commonality is it can open the door to getting to know someone and becoming friends, that if she reads about a girl who is riding the bus for the first time and she is scared or insecure about being liked or disliked that it is ok to worry., that at times everyone feels this way. I want her to know that she is not alone nor the only child who feels like this. I want her to know color has nothing to do with recognizing self.worth. That brown skin does not define how terrific she is or why she is terrific. I want her to realize that greatness will always recognize greatness and that her peers will see just what I see and what her parents see because she is BEAUTIFULLY MADE. I constantly remind her that traits from being BROWN like Kinky hair does not make her any more beautiful than children with straight hair. The beauty she sees is HER through and through. She now knows that her brownness and her hair, her full lips just adds to her beauty.
When we embrace our brown children’s skin color or their type of hair they may not realize that’s not all that makes them beautiful and that beauty comes in all forms and in all people. We do want them to know that Brown should not be frowned on nor dismissed. But we also should not want them to think one is greater than the other. We also should never want them to think that the outer is more important than the inner. If they have not been told they are brilliant, and beautifully made they will never grasp that nothing can strip them outside of what’s inside.
This is why BNHM Publishing has decided to create a reading world of cultures that emphasize on the Core of us, then work from the inside out. We realize it is a must to teach core values like
Loving the beauty in SELF.
Seeing their likeness in everything beautiful and everything great.
It is utterly important to teach our beautiful brown children that f they can love themselves and see that same love in their peers the love will be contagious and infectious.
That’s why I said:
If we don’t teach them, they won't know.. Tell me what you think. What’s your take on this theory? Add in the comments below.