Lupita Nyong'o is way more than a pretty face. In addition to actress you can now call her an author. Today she unveiled the cover of her new children's book, Sulwe. The book aims to help children -- especially little Black girls -- to love the skin they are in. This is needed and certainly an endeavor worthy of our support.
Nyong'o has been working on the book in secrecy but now details are emerging. Here is the book's plot, according to Amazon: "Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty." Wow.
Nyong'o is a likely candidate to take on such a project. Defying all stereotypes and entrenched (European) standards of beauty, People Magazine named her the most beautiful person in the world in 2014. In a world in which white and light has traditionally dominated the beauty industry, that was a groundbreaking moment. Now Nyong'o is determined to inspire little Black girls everywhere to also love their skin and reinforce the notion that Black, indeed, is beautiful.
Joining Nyong'o to bring her vision to life is accomplished illustrator, Vashti Harrison. Harrison's work has been featured in various other noted Children's books such as Little Dreamers and Hair Love. Nyong'o seems to have inspired Harrison's illustrations a great deal. Sulwe apparently has the same headband, hairstyle, and baby blue outfit that Lupita wore when she won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2014.