Lupita Nyong’O Debuts Her Compelling Children’s Book ‘Sulwe’

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Academy award-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, creates Sulwe, a powerful moving picture book dedicated to young ladies of color regarding self-love.  Sulwe was released on Oct. 15 with a rewarding message for children who may struggle with colorism and self-esteem. This heartwarming tale shares the story of Sulwe, a young girl who has darker skin than her mother, sister, and the girls at school. As Sulwe longs to be like those around her, she gets swept away into the night sky as she embarks on a journey to embrace her unique beauty.

Nyong’o wants her book to be an aid for dark-skinned girls of all ages to feel beautiful inside and out. On Instagram she shares, “…It’s never too late to love the skin you’re in and to see the beauty that radiates from within…”

Lupita posted a photo of her 5-year-old self on Instagram, mirroring her life experiences with the main character in Sulwe.

“I imagined what it would have been like for this little girl to turn the pages of her picture books and see more dark skin [girls] in a beautiful light. This book is my dream come true for kids like her today…”

 

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This is 5-year-old me. I reflected on this little girl’s feelings and fantasies when I decided to write my children’s book, #Sulwe. With this book, I wanted to hold up a mirror for her. Here’s why: As a little girl reading, I had all of these windows into the lives of people who looked nothing like me, chances to look into their worlds, but I didn’t have any mirrors. While windows help us develop empathy and an understanding of the wider world, mirrors help us develop our sense of self, and our understanding of our own world. They ground us in our body and our experiences. #Sulwe holds up a mirror for dark-skinned children especially, to see themselves reflected immediately, and it is a window for all the others to cherish peering into. Colorism, society’s preference for lighter skin, is alive and well. It’s not just a prejudice reserved for places with a largely white population. Throughout the world, even in Kenya, even today, there is a popular sentiment that lighter is brighter. I imagined what it would have been like for this little girl to turn the pages of her picture books and see more dark skin in a beautiful light. This book is my dream come true for kids like her today. #Sulwe arrives October 15. ✨ Link in bio to pre-order. #NationalBookMonth #BrightnessIsJustWhoYouAre

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The touching tale of Sulwe is now available. Take a picture with your copy using the hashtag, #BrightnessIsJustWhoYouAre.