Aactivist and athlete Colin Kaepernick ensures that black and brown youth see themselves reflected in the literature they consume. According to Peoplehe recently published a children’s book titled I color myself differently.
The book, released April 5, explores concepts of identity and self-love through Kaepernick’s childhood experiences. The story recounts a time when he was commissioned to create an illustration of his family when he was five years old; a pivotal moment where he truly embraced his black identity.
“I drew my white adoptive family with a yellow pencil, then I took a brown pencil to draw myself,” he shared in a statement. “This eye-opening moment taught me an important lesson about accepting my black identity through the power of self-love and ultimately helped me understand how my dark skin was connected to my blackness. Above all, I hope I Color Myself Different can inspire young people to embrace their power, love themselves, and walk in the truth of their own path.
The Powerful Piece of Literature – which includes images created by the illustrator Eric Wilkerson– is the first book to be published under a deal Kaepernick signed with publishing company Scholastic last July.
books like I color myself differently will help advance representation in children’s literature. Research shows that there has been an increase in diversity in black book pages, authors and characters remain significantly underrepresented. Kaepernick is on a mission to change the narrative through its partnership with Scholastic. “I am delighted that Kaepernick Publishing is collaborating with Scholastic on books with black and brown voices at the forefront. I hope our books inspire readers to walk the world with confidence, strength and truth in all they do,” he shared.
Many athletes emphasize youth empowerment through literature. nfl player Russell Wilson and his singing wife Ciara published a children’s book titled Why not you? to inspire young people to eliminate self-doubt and pursue their dreams.
Stephen and Ayesha Curry advance efforts to empower young people through literature
Ciara and Russell Wilson’s new children’s book aims to help youngsters gain self-confidence