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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Children’s Literature: Apartheid Or Just A General Lack of Color?

Children's books (San José Library/Flickr)

Of 3,200 children’s books surveyed by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only 93 were about African-Americans. (San José Library/Flickr)

A survey of children’s literature by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center has found that of 3,200 books surveyed (out of an estimated 5,000 books published) in 2013, only 93 were about African-Americans.

African-American children's book authors Walter Dean Myers (right) and his son Christopher Myers are both concerned about the lack of diversity in children's literature. (Malin Fezehal)

African-American children’s book authors Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers are both concerned about the lack of diversity in children’s literature. (Malin Fezehal)

That dismal statistic prompted African-American children’s book author Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers to write side-by-side op-ed pieces for The New York Times.

Walter Dean Myers’s piece asked “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” while Christopher Myers characterized the situation as an “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature.”

As Christopher Myers tells Here & Now’s Robin Young, the issue is not only that children of color need to see people who look like themselves in these books, but also that “these books are used as fantasy, these books are used as ways that kids can make road maps for their own lives, and if we don’t give them proper road maps, where are they going to end up?”

Interview Highlights

On books providing a ‘road map’ for kids

Chris Myers: “There is this thought somehow that children should just want to see themselves, to see their own circumstances. But in fact, these books are used as tools of fantasy, these books are used as ways that kids can make road maps for their own lives, and if we don’t give them proper road maps, where are they going to end up? It’s not simply a numbers game. This crisis of diversity in children’s books is better named and better understood as a crisis in our country — a literacy gap. When we look at the achievement gap in economic terms, when we look at the achievement gaps in education between low-income communities and their richer counterparts, we see that our country, our nation, is in a deep deep crisis.”

Walter Dean Myers: “There’ve been studies saying that if the kids are behind in the third grade, only 20 percent of those kids ever catch up. What happens, the kids also understand the gaps. They see this wide divergence and they give up. And so one of the tools we can use to try to bring them back into the mainstream is transmitting values in books. When you go to a book and you see your circumstances — here is a poor child, here is a child who doesn’t have breakfast every morning — when they see themselves, they’re saying ‘look, I am valuable.’”

On the argument the market doesn’t want books with African-American characters

Walter Dean Myers: “The market’s not demanding it, but that cannot be our solution. Because by shunting off so many thousands and thousands of children, you have a graduation rate throughout this country which is obscene. New York City has a terrible graduation rate. And when you break that down to the poor kids, you’re getting 50 to 65 percent of the kids going through the school system not being able to function in America. And we can’t say ‘oh, there’s no market for them.’ What we’re saying is that there’s no need for these kids. When I go to the schools and the juvenile prisons and I talk to kids on the street, they deserve a future.”

Chris Myers: “As people who deal with fictions, we’re very familiar when we see them. And the market is a fiction and it’s worked on and we make up our best theories as to what will sell or what won’t sell. But in the end, the market is a fiction, and we’re constantly being surprised by the market in various other media industries. For example, maybe 15 years ago — I’m not the biggest Tyler Perry fan, but the idea of a Tyler Perry, of a vernacular black cinema, was not commonplace. … And now you see that he is by himself a cottage industry.”

On the social media outcry over Rue in ‘The Hunger Games’ being black

Walter Dean Myers: “I remember [TV producer] Norman Lear came to me and wanted to do ‘The Young Landlords,’ one of my books. I was all happy until he said ‘except we’re going to change all the black kids to white kids and move it from Harlem to Greenwich Village.’”

Chris Myers: “The idea is that — children’s literature, children’s media — we are making for our children a picture of the society that they’re going to be living in. And if we’re making these segregated images, then we can’t be surprised when people are outraged when they see images of little black girls in ‘The Hunger Games.’ In trying to make books that reflect our dreams, our hopes for what our society can be, we don’t want to use such a feeble excuse as ‘the market’ to limit what our society can be.”

Guests

Transcript

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

It's HERE AND NOW.

A survey from the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that out of 3,200 books published in 2013, only 93 were about African-American characters, the lowest in two decades. Well, Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher did not need that survey to know that. Walter is the African-American author and former ambassador for children's literature. His son Christopher is an author and illustrator who says he remembers his dad suggesting a book about wizards or something years ago. Well, that'll never work, publishers said. There's no market for that. Then years later, hello, "Harry Potter."

The two wrote side-by-side op-ed pieces for The New York Times recently on the pitfalls of the market and what Christopher called the apartheid of kids' literature with characters of color limited to the townships of occasional historical books on civil rights and slavery. Chris and his father, Walter Dean Myers, both join us from the NPR Studios in New York. Chris, welcome.

CHRISTOPHER MYERS: Hi. How are you?

YOUNG: I'm good. And Walter Dean Myers, welcome back to HERE AND NOW.

WALTER DEAN MYERS: Hi. Thank you.

YOUNG: Christopher, start with you, If I got this right, that kids seeing themselves in books, someone who looks like them, isn't as much about having a mirror, having their self reflected. It's about having a roadmap?

MYERS: Absolutely. I feel like there is this thought somehow that children should just want to see themselves, to see their own circumstances. But in fact, these books are used as tools of fantasy. These books are used as ways that kids can make roadmaps for their own lives. And if we don't give them proper roadmaps, where are they going to end up?

It's not simply a numbers game. This crisis of diversity in children's books is better named and better understood as a crisis in our country, a literacy gap. When we look at the achievement gap in economic terms, when we look at the achievement gaps in education between low-income communities and their richer counterparts, we see that our country, our nation, is in a deep, deep crisis.

MYERS: There've been studies saying that if the kids are behind in the third grade, only 20 percent of those kids ever catch up. What happens, the kids also understand the gaps. They see this wide divergence, and they give up. And so one of the tools we can use to try to bring them back into the mainstream is transmitting values in books. When you go to a book, and you see your circumstances - here is a poor child, here is a child who doesn't have breakfast every morning - when they see themselves, they're saying look, I am valuable.

Sometimes when I talk to children and try to give them my (unintelligible) talk, oh, you must read a lot. They say they're not interested. They don't have the vocabulary to say, I've given up. But this is what's happening. The kids are actually giving up.

YOUNG: Well, talk more about what happened to you, because if I'm reading your op-ed correctly, things happen in your family, you begin to despair. And part of that was you weren't seeing yourself or this roadmap that we're talking about, reflected in the books that you were reading. And you stopped reading, and then this is such a powerful line, in retrospect, you say, you lost the potential person you would become.

MYERS: I stopped reading. I stopped writing altogether. I just did not see who I could be anymore. I just felt lost.

MYERS: Dad, did you feel like you gave up in the way that you talked about when you see this children that have given up, do you feel like that had happened to you?

MYERS: I felt that had had happened to me quite a lot.

YOUNG: But then you picked up James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues."

MYERS: It was a shock to me. I did not love the story, but it was about my neighborhood. It was about poor people. And I said to myself, well, who is James Baldwin? And I discovered that he lived only like a half a mile from me in Harlem. It revived me. It gave me permission that I did not know that I needed.

YOUNG: It gave you your roadmap.

MYERS: It gave me my roadmap.

YOUNG: Yeah.

MYERS: One of the most disheartening things about the overwhelmingly positive response to Dad and I's piece in the Times is the idea that this is not a new conversation. This is a conversation that has been happening for at least since 1965 when Nancy Larrick wrote an article called "The All-White World of Children's Books."

YOUNG: Talk a little more, both of you, about that. You have been told and I - we're seeing it in the articles today that the market doesn't want more books with African-American kids as characters.

MYERS: The market is not demanding it, but that cannot be our solution because we're shunting off so many thousands and thousands of children. You have graduation rates throughout this country, which is obscene. New York City has a terrible graduation rate. I mean, you break that down to the poor kids. You're getting 50 to 65 percent of the kids going through the school system not being able to function in America. And we can't say, well, there's no market for them. What we're saying is that there's no need for these kids. And, you know, when I go through the schools and the juvenile prisons, and I talk to kids on the streets, they deserve a future.

YOUNG: It's funny you're saying that you may agree that, right now, there's not a great demand. But it sounds like it may be because kids and their parents may not even know what they're missing. But, Christopher, you say that you don't even believe that because you've been told that white kids won't buy a book with a black kid on the cover. But as you say, white kids buy CDs with black kids on the cover all the time.

MYERS: Absolutely. As people who deal with fictions, we're very familiar when we see them.

MYERS: Right.

MYERS: And the market is a fiction and it's worked on, and we make up our best theories as to what will sell or what won't sell. But in the end, the market is a fiction, and we're constantly being surprised by the market and various other media industries. For example, maybe 15 years ago - I'm not the biggest Tyler Perry fan - but the idea of a Tyler Perry, of a vernacular black cinema was not commonplace.

YOUNG: Tyler Perry, the producer - uber-producer with films and TV shows now to his credit, yeah.

MYERS: Yes. And now you see that he is, by himself, a cottage industry.

YOUNG: Well, it strikes me this isn't just about poor kids of color. It's about poor white kids as well.

MYERS: Exactly.

YOUNG: And changing the children's literature is also about all kids. We're thinking of - there was a recent brouhaha when the book "Hunger Games" went to the big screen. One of the characters, Rue, is described very purposely by the author as black, of color. And yet when an African-American actress was cast to play Rue, there was this outcry in social media mostly by white young people, saying, why is she black? Why is she black? They couldn't even - in their minds' eye, they'd seen so few black characters in literature, they didn't even pick up that she was black.

MYERS: Exactly right. I remember Norman Lear came to me and wanted to do "The Young Landlords."

MYERS: One of your books.

MYERS: One of my books. I was all happy until he said, except we're going to change all the black kids to white kids and move it from Harlem to Greenwich Village.

MYERS: But the idea is that children's literature, children's media - we are making for our children a picture of the society that they're going to be living in. And if we're making these segregated images, then we can't be surprised when people are outraged when they see images of little black girls in "The Hunger Games." In trying to make books that reflect our dreams, our hopes for what our society can be, we don't want to use such a feeble excuse as the market to limit what our society can be. I really don't want my society being dictated by what I think will sell at the local B. Dalton - if there will be Daltons anymore.

YOUNG: Right.

MYERS: And I don't want my grandchildren - hopefully Chris.

MYERS: I'm working on it, Dad.

(LAUGHTER)

MYERS: OK. OK. I don't want my grandchildren to think of themselves only in terms of slavery, the civil rights movement. I want them to have a full range of imagine of literature.

YOUNG: Like the heroic character Rue in "Hunger Games."

MYERS: Yes.

YOUNG: Yeah.

MYERS: Except that I don't want my children to necessarily have to die at the end. I mean, I'm just - not spoiler alert. Sorry for your "Hunger Games" fans.

(LAUGHTER)

YOUNG: Yes. Yeah. Christopher and Walter Dean Myers, talking about the lack of people of color in children's literature. We'll link you to their op-eds at hereandnow.org. Thanks so much to you both.

MYERS: Thank you so much.

MYERS: Thanks for having us.

YOUNG: OK. They've probably read the book anyway. HERE AND NOW is a production of NPR and WBUR Boston, in association with the BBC World Service. I'm Robin Young.

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:

I'm Jeremy Hobson. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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  • carlloeber

    I really don’t get it.. Isn’t publishing books and marketing them easier than ever in history? If you don’t know how to do it just ask me.. I will be pleased to help! Why don’t you get the guys in prison to start writing books 4 children..? I’m sorry if that sounds sarcastic but I am serious.. If you don’t have time to write and publish and market books for children they do! And you can write all the books you want.. You just have to get someone to buy them or share them! What is your point?

    • Rick

      Exactly, there was no point to the interview. Just complaining.

  • carlloeber

    do you want white people to write books for black people? Or whatever color you want?I have been to jail and seen that there are many good people there they have lots of time.. If you don’t have time to write books for the children who you want to have them To read.. They do..

  • carlloeber

    don’t you think you guys should have a discussion and talk with the Barnes and Noble people?

  • spaceherpes

    Yep. Richard Pryor pointed this out many years ago: “I just saw Logan’s Run, and I don’t think white people expect us to be around in the future.” Incidentally, when there is snowfall around town, the news only shows white kids sledding or playing.

  • Rick

    If the book isn’t illustrated, how do you know the skin color of all the characters?

    And if the book is illustrated with white people, just redraw the pictures to make them look black.

    There, that should fix the problem with black kids having low literacy rates and not graduating from high school…..

  • FromThe313

    Whenever I hear these arguments about blacks and Latinos not seeing themselves in popular literature and how it contributes to a sense of despair, poor scholastic performance and “giving up”, I roll my eyes. The reason for this reaction can be wrapped up with what should be a follow up show (but won’t since it doesn’t fit your liberal agenda). The question is: How does this lack of literary representation stack up to the Asian American experience? I’m Japanese American. I NEVER came across a single book of young adult fiction with a Chinese, Japanese or Korean lead character. Even today, can you name three Asian American protaganist characters from children’s literature? I never even gave it a second thought much less give up and stop caring about my schoolwork or desire to do my best. Good literature crosses the artificial constructs highlighted in your show. This is why good literature is translated into multiple languages. All your show did was create a non-existent problem out of a victimization excuse

    • Ani

      I think I, in part, understand your perspective.

      I’m white, was raised in poverty and crawled my way out by working multiple jobs simultaneously and doing without luxuries like a car with all it’s fenders/windows. I worked full time while going to school full time at a city college and still managed to participate in a national competition in my discipline. I did things like park 10 blocks from my building to save the $7 a week in parking fees because it all added up to the better life I was determined to have.

      When people throw around the concept of White Privilege, it can be insulting because it implies that my efforts don’t matter or, worse, that they are somehow invalid or non-existent. As if, as a white person, I cannot possibly understand struggle. At all. Ever.

      However, there is a theory that expectation empowers. Your community and others have high expectations of you due to the stereotypes that have been built around your ethnicity and the values of your culture. There is further the belief that stereotypes help feed culture.

      So, if your culture is persistently informed that it’s identity is found in being dedicated academically and successful, it’s easier for that culture to maintain that status quo. If another culture is fed negative images and expectations, seeing their experience and images of themselves portrayed in any positive or even accurate way becomes vastly more important.

      Being raised as ‘white trash’ and having people make no secret of their expectation that I held no real potential, positive images in media and stories of people to which I could relate that had succeeded became life savers to which I mentally clung. I submit that perhaps you might not have needed this reinforcement because the expectation for you was not a negative one. Since I don’t know the details of your life, it’s entirely possible that assumption is incorrect and, if so, please forgive the presumption.

      However, I do continue to believe that positive images in media can be very important for minorities who have had their cultures debased by negative stereotypes that are consistently reinforced by the media.

      • FromThe313

        Ani:

        First off, I applaud your efforts to rise above your situation, refuse to be a victim of circumstance and possess such high standards for yourself and your accomplishments – all through dedication and hard work. But if I may be so bold to presume that even if you had no fictional characters with which to identify, based solely on race or ethnicity, do you think you would have turned out differently? Which advances my argument that in this broadcast segment, way too much influence was given to this issue of not seeing characters that “look like you”. My presumption is that your family and teachers had a bigger influence than the ethnicity of the protagonists in the literature you read.

        The whole topic of the show was based on an opinion from some anecdotal evidence which in turn was primarily based on the Myers’s personal experience.

        I heard a similar show last week on “Radio Times” about the “pinkness” of toys for girls that results in girls not being interested in the STEM fields of study (another eye roll). Since anecdotal evidence seems to carry a disproportionate amount of influence on this show, my experience leads me to the same conclusion I wrote above i.e. it doesn’t matter. I have two sisters who both played with Barbie dolls extensively when they were children. One earned a degree in civil engineering and the other in industrial management who went on to earn an MBA from an Ivy League university.

        Again I stand by my original thesis that these kinds of arguments are addressing non-existent problems.

    • Ivatanmom

      Then where exactly are you looking??? Gene Yang’s excellent graphic novels are out there and so are Shaun Tan’s beautiful wordless books that convey great stories, There’s Linda Sue Park, Cynthia Kadohata’s award-winning books. Ken Mochizuki, Lesley Namioka, Grace Lin, Debbie Ohi, Janet Wong’s poetry, Protagonist characters? Stanley Ho, a very funny middle schooler, Allen Say’s autobiographical work, Kira Kira. Mitali Perkins’ funny books.

    • Britney Robinson

      Your culture is totally different so it is hard to compare.

      • FromThe313

        Please explain.

        • Britney Robinson

          From what I can see from some Asian cultures in America is that you guys are deeply focused on academics and not having light hearted fun(so I would assume you aren’t indulging in children books but academic books), also you guys don’t always immerse yourselves in American culture. I would think if Asian parents did invest in children books it would be Asian ones created in Asia.

  • Dolby5ish

    There’s a great little e-publisher called Eggplant Literary Productions–they focus on fantasy, sci-fi and horror with characters from all kinds of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. While many of the books may be too advanced for elementary school kids, Eggplant also has an e-zine aimed at 8 – 12 year-olds. Here’s their link:

    http://eggplantproductions.com/

  • it_disqus

    “The market’s not demanding it, but that cannot be our solution.” – Wrong. That says this medium needs something like government intervention to support it. Better writing on the supply side is the solution. Maybe if Tyler Perry had a more diverse casts his shows would appeal to a greater audience. Me and my two white kids still quote lines from “Everybody Hates Chris” because it was cleaver and challenging and had parts we could relate to even though we are not black living in Queens, but poor and white in Kentucky.

  • http://blog.leeandlow.com/ Hannah

    Thank you for sharing this great interview with two talented authors who are trying to create change within an industry that is very, very hard to change. I love this quotation:
    “When you go to a book and you see your circumstances — here is a poor child, here is a child who doesn’t have breakfast every morning — when they see themselves, they’re saying ‘look, I am valuable.’”
    I think that’s the key: it’s not just about literacy or the quality of the story alone. Can children of color learn to read, learn to love reading, when all they are given are books about white people? Sure. But when children of color aren’t present in any books, when they are constantly the sidekicks and never the heroes of their own stories, the message they are receiving is that their stories are not worth telling, that they are invisible.

    The market reflects biases that are passed down year after year and reinforced by the status quo. It does not reflect actual demand for inclusive books. It is a chicken and egg situation because the market cannot reflect high sales for diverse books if they are not published, marketed, and carried in bookstores. However, the success of diversity-focused publishers like Lee & Low Books proves that diverse books can and do sell.

    No one is saying that the books don’t also have to be good, or that great literature isn’t universal. There’s no reason why a young Asian American reader can’t read and love a book about a white character. But can’t it also work the other way? Why does neutral/universal still default to white?

  • Sharron L. McElmeel

    Not only do children need to see their own faces in books but others need to see a diverse array of faces in books as well. We are a multi-diverse nation and our literature should reflect that. All children need mirrors and windows into the world. There are plenty of writers – we need sensitive editors, publishers, and book sellers who realize that there are buyers if there are books. Time we acknowledge white privilege and make efforts to enter the world stage. Cheers to the Myers for speaking out and raising awareness not only about African American literature but literature featuring Native Americans (remember NA are not dead and gone – still here in the present), Asian Americans, and many other ethnic groups. Join the march down a diverse publishing trail.

  • ElliFrank

    I was thrilled when authors Walter Dean Myers’ and Chris Myers’ op-eds were published in the New York Times. It’s essential — for all the reasons the Myers have outlined — for kids of color AND white kids to be exposed to more stories, literature, and films where characters of color are in lead roles.

    As a white parent in a multiracial family, I have always made it my business to seek out books that would reflect the racial and cultural identity of my child and family members. I know this has made a significant difference in the racial identity development of my child. I have also made a point of submitting frequent acquisition requests to my local public library and donating books to our local public schools so their collections can better reflect the racial and cultural composition of our community.

    Kudos to the Myers for speaking out on this important topic, and many thanks to Robin Young for interviewing them. Now, if there’s just a way to get the publishing companies to listen…

  • IvatanMom

    I commend Walter Dean Myers and Chris Myers for their op eds and Jason Low at Lee and Low and Debbie Reese and many others for continuing to speak out on this issue because like them, I’ve been working on this for years and i too am frustrated by the comments that those who use the old dog market reason not publishing the books or putting them on the shelves and for the attitude that diverse books only serve niche markets, or people who say the books and writers aren’t out there. I create the Read Across America calendar for educators every year and i make it a point to look for and showcase the excellent books out there that show diverse classrooms or books that tell our stories or feature various cultures. And i do so not just so children in our classrooms can see themselves but that all children see the diversity of the world as it truly exists! http://www.nea.org/readacross
    Sadly, i don’t have a budget that can get these calendars into every classroom but educators who do, see books that celebrate stories and communities all children need to see. I find excellent books from Lee and Low, Salina Bookshelf and Cinco Puntos Press, I featured I am America from Scholastic that featured different faces. And for the Asian American commenter, take a closer look, Young Adult literature features Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novels, Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard, Picture books show Grace Lin, Allen Say, Ken Mochizuki, Years ago i chose a book that showcased an African immigrant in the midwest. I feature bilingual books, Educators are hungry for books like these and so are parents and chlldren. They do go to libraries, they do go to bookstores (though it’s harder to find those) And they will buy in greater numbers. Young readers love Walter and Chris and Nikki Grimes and Yuyi Morales and Meg Medina. They’re hungry for them. It is up to us to continue to feed that hunger.And it doesn’t have to be just diverse stories, Take a look at the excellent new graphic treatment of Romeo and Juliette by Gareth HInds, a beautiful treatment of Shakespeare’s play with diverse characters. imagine that. I’m making it my mission and i know alot of parents and school librarians and writers and teachers making it their own too.

  • Angela Singletary Huntley

    Thank you Walter D. Myers and Christopher Myers for keeping this issue in the for front. I believe there should be books in children’s literature that represents all children. http://www.theycallmeham.com

    • Yoni Charry

      My husband, Jonathan Charry, has written (if I may say so) a loving book featuring father and child duos from many different ethnic backgrounds. The book, “Fathers Have Big Hands” was published last year through AuthorHouse and was given a favorable review by Kirkus. http://www.authorhouse.com

  • Janet Ruth Heller

    I enjoyed this interview, and I agree with Christopher Myers and Walter Dean Myers that we need more people of color in literature for children. My award-winning book for children about bullying, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Arbordale, 2006), includes Native American characters. I also agree with Sharron L. McElmeel that if we want to have a healthy multicultural society, we need to urge editors, publishers, and booksellers to promote books that contain characters from diverse backgrounds.

    I would also like to see more books with characters whose religious traditions are Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. Most current books and most current publishers focus on books with Christian characters.

    Best wishes for the spring!

    Janet Ruth Heller

    Author of the poetry books Exodus (WordTech Editions, 2014), Folk Concert: Changing Times (Anaphora Literary Press, 2012) and Traffic Stop (Finishing Line Press, 2011), the scholarly book Coleridge, Lamb, Hazlitt, and the Reader of Drama (University of Missouri Press, 1990), and the award-winning book for kids about bullying, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Arbordale, 2006).
    Website is http://www.redroom.com/author/janet-ruth-heller

  • Valerie Smith

    Most interesting discussion; I had never thought about this before, but listened quite intently as I headed down I-95 to my appointment this afternoon. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  • PragmaticMom

    It’s White Priviledge that controls the publishing market: http://ilovenewton.com/18-white-people-understand-white-privilege/

  • L.

    Thank you for bringing up this point. Diverse characters are necessary for all races of children. I especially appreciate the point about fantasy and road maps for the future. Children’s picture books especially (when children often begin their love of reading) the only books featuring diverse characters are very niche or a somewhat homogenous image of one race, (i.e. impoverished inner city). However, there is no need for races to be limited in this way. If a story is about a dog who becomes the teacher of a child’s class or a child who lives in the woods with teddy bears, that character could be any race, and why not a child of color? It could be fantasy based like Raising Dragons (illustrations I love by Elise Primavera) or feature a character who is of color but not necessarily implied lower class like like Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn.

  • OSAAT Entertainment

    After reading Young’s interview and seeing all the comments, I felt inspired to write in.

    My husband and I have spent the past year diligently working on a beautiful children’s book called Kiley’s Purple Hat. It is a handmade book about art, color and spending quality time with the ones you love.

    Our adorable children’s book with black characters is getting very little love on Kickstarter.
    We’ve dedicated so much time and effort to this project and now, we need the help of our community. Please support the project by backing us on Kickstarter, posting and/or sharing the project with anyone who will cherish stories with positive role models for girls of color!

    Here’s the link:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/osaat/kileys-purple-hat

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