Lupita Nyongo’s is proving to us that her powerful speech in 2014 about self-acceptance, race and representation didn’t just stop in 2014, that she is ever ready to lead the course for self-acceptance of darker skin as entirely beautiful after her struggle with her own complexion and self-image as a child.
The Oscar Award winner, actress and voice of Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has written and will publish her debut children’s book Sulwe with Simon & Schuster Books for young readers a year from now. The book is the story of a young girl with dark skin who learns to reimagine her sense of beauty and finally accepts her skin as beautiful. The word Sulwe means star in Nyong’o’s mother tongue, Luo, Kenya.
Here’s a synopsis of the book made available at New York Times:
In the book, Sulwe has the darkest skin color in her family, a fact that makes her uncomfortable and determined to find a way to lighten her skin. As the story unfolds Sulwe embarks on a whimsical adventure in the night sky that, coupled with advice from her mother, helps her see beauty differently.
Nyong’o decided to write the book after recalling the positive influence that reading stories with her mother had on her self-image growing up. The story touches on her own battles with skin complexion and self-acceptance, which she opened up about so eloquently in a 2014 Black Women In Hollywood speech.
The book is specifically written for children between the ages of 5 and 7, the age when “you learn all the things that you spend the rest of your life trying to unlearn,” says Nyong’o.