Lupita Nyong’o's Children's Book Will Take On Colorism

Not only is Lupita Nyong’o a talented, young actress, but she has become an author. Recently, she announced that she is going to be publishing a children’s book in January of 2019.

This picture book, “Sulwe,” is about a five year old girl living in Kenya. She struggles with prejudice due to the fact that she has darker skin than her family, friends and classmates. Throughout the book, the main character Sulwe wishes to have a lighter skin color because of the discrimination she faces, and she actively searches for a way to make this happen. With guidance and support from her mother, she discovers that her skin is perfect the way it is. 

Nyong’o is basing this story off of her own experiences. She lived in Kenya as a child and dealt with colorism, which is discrimination based upon skin color. Nyong’o was made fun of and taunted for her darker skin color growing up. So many people, especially young children can relate to her story. Her decision to publish this picture book will allow readers, and specifically young POC, to feel that they are not alone in what they are facing and struggling with. And, for those that may not necessarily relate to the book, it is an important lesson in loving and accepting one another for who we are. This story spreads the message that bullying, in any form, is never okay. 

Developing a sense of self-love is incredibly important, especially at a young age because most carry what they learn as a child with them their entire lives. This message is such a powerful force in shaping a child’s self worth, which is what Lupita Nyong’o was hoping for while creating her book. Although this story is for children, it spreads a powerful sense of acceptance and confidence for so many people around the world.