Lupita Nyong’o Celebrates Dark Skin & Self-Acceptance In New Children’s Book
Lupita Nyong’o celebrates dark skin and self-acceptance. Nyong’o, an outspoken supporter of dark skinned beauty, is publishing a children’s book about colorism and self-acceptance.
Born in Mexico, but raised in her parents’ native Kenya, Lupita Nyong’o has come a long way in becoming a respected Hollywood actress.
She won an Oscar in 2014 for her work in 12 Years a Slave. In her media appearances, including a speech that went viral at the Essence Awards in 2014, she has been vocal about discrimination against darker skin across cultures.
And now Nyong’o wants to further her cause with a new children’s book titled “Sulwe”. The picture book is aimed at readers between the ages of 5 and 7 and will be released next January by Simon & Schuster. An illustrator is yet to be announced.
“Sulwe is a dark skinned girl who goes on a starry-eyed adventure, and awakens with a reimagined sense of beauty,” Nyong’o wrote in her announcement of the book on Instagram. “She encounters lessons that we learn as children and spend our lives unlearning. This is a story for little ones, but no matter the age I hope it serves as an inspiration for everyone to walk with joy in their own skin.”
Like Sulwe, Nyong’o struggled with her complexion and self-image, as the darkest-skinned member of her family. Nyong’o recalled how her lighter-skinned sister was praised more often for being beautiful.
I am pleased to reveal that I have written a children’s book! It’s called “Sulwe”! Sulwe is a dark skinned girl who goes on a starry-eyed adventure, and awakens with a reimagined sense of beauty. She encounters lessons that we learn as children and spend our lives unlearning. This is a story for little ones, but no matter the age I hope it serves as an inspiration for everyone to walk with joy in their own skin. Coming January 2019!!
“I got teased and taunted about my skin,” Nyong’o remembered. “My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned.”
This isn’t her first project to deal with the subject of discrimination. In 2009, she wrote, directed, and produced the documentary In My Genes, about the discriminatory treatment of Kenya’s albino population.
Nyong’o attended college in the United States, earning a bachelor’s degree in film and theater studies from Hampshire College. She earned her master’s degree at the Yale School of Drama, where she won the Herschel Williams Prize for “acting students with outstanding ability” during the 2011–12 academic year.
Immediately after graduating from Yale, Nyong’o landed her breakthrough role when she was cast in Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 Years a Slave (2013). Nyong’o was nominated for several awards including a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and two Screen Actors Guild Awards including Best Supporting Actress, which she won.
There is no reason to believe she won’t have the same success as an author.
Would you pick up her book for any children that you know?