‘My Melanin is Poppin’: Mom celebrates diversity in Black and Brown communities through new children’s book
Author and mom Latarsha Woods just published her first children’s book in hopes of empowering young girls and boys to love the skin they are in!
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On the heels of a tumultuous year rocked by the pandemic and protests against racial injustice, a Richmond mom published a children’s book that uplifts and celebrates diversity in Black and Brown communities.
There has been a lot of tough moments and conversations in different households throughout the year. For Latarsha Woods and her family, her young daughters had plenty of questions about racial injustice and their own physical traits.
Woods, whose daughters, Serenity, Trinity and Destiny, all ranging in ages from four to 12, have different shades of beautiful Brown skin. She said they started asking questions about their differences in the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s deaths last year.
Destiny, Woods’ 12-year-old daughter, suddenly wondered what being a young, Black girl in America could mean for her life. Woods said she and her husband did not let the girls see everything on the news, but said they explained what was going on during those dark moments in American history.
“The questions I had: ‘Can we go to the store without being shot or being looked at because of our brown skin?” said Destiny, flanked between her little sisters beneath a mural on a chalkboard of themselves in their playroom. “It just really hurt me.”
Woods’ middle child, Trinity, who is 7 years old, started asking questions about her skin complexion, which opened the door to more conversations about race and culture at home.
“I just prayed, and I said, ‘God, give me something to give them that will encourage them during this time,’” Woods said.
What started as a poem about self-love to her girls morphed to into a much bigger project.
“I started writing a poem so they can start reciting it, and then that will combat the images or the thoughts they may have had at first about their skin complexions,” Woods said. “It was just a blessing watching them embrace the poems.”
She came up with the idea of writing a children’s book called, “My Melanin is Poppin’ on my Beautiful Brown Skin.” The illustrations depict all three of her daughters. The characters are named after their middle names: Grace, Faith and Joy. The book celebrates their different features from the texture of their tresses to their different skin complexions.
With each flip of the page, it is a gentle reminder of what makes them special.
“Growing up, I was bullied because of my skin complexion,” said Woods, who acknowledged an issue of colorism throughout the Black community in her past experiences. “I believe we need to talk about it more.”
“I don’t say colorism in the book, but the book is to combat that spirit and celebrate the differences we have,” she said.
Woods hopes her new children’s book will empower young Black and Brown boys and girls around the world. She has already seen a positive impact on her girls.
“It feels so good because you wonder if they’re getting it,” said Woods, whose face lit up when she described how her daughters walk around the house saying “my melanin is poppin’ on my beautiful brown skin” and complimenting each other.
“I like the message because she wants us to know our skin is beautiful,” said Trinity Woods.
“I’m just glad that I can be a part of this beautiful message to my sisters,” said Destiny Woods.
Woods is having two book signings at Utopia Spa, located at 1401 Roseneath Road Richmond, Virginia.
The first is Friday, May 7 from 5-8p.m. The second is Saturday, May 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The book, “My Melanin is Poppin’ on My Beautiful Brown Skin,” will be released on Amazon Saturday.
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