As a young girl I was a voracious reader. In fact, as I got older my mother would punish me sometimes by taking my books from me. Idk how I feel about that sort of discipline, but it worked because I was lost without my books.
As much as I really loved to read, one thing that hit me was that there weren’t many characters who looked like me. There certainly weren’t any characters who had an afro like mine. As a child it wasn’t disheartening to me, but it was confusing. Because I’d been so accustomed to having books that depicted white characters, as a light-skin Black child I assumed that I too was white. Without going into a long tirade, let’s just say that there were several experiences later in life that informed me that I was in fact not white.
Exposure to diversity in the books that I loved so much would have fortified my self-identity. I truly also believe that the same exposure would have been beneficial for my melanated and non-melanated peers. Representation matters.
While I cannot alter the past, I am so happy that Camille has so many book options that celebrate diversity. I can already see that I am passing on my love of reading to my daughter.
Below are some of my favorite books that we read to Camille.
I hope that you enjoy these books as much as we have!
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Featured Image: Mother Jones