Originally published: 2016-05-04: I Like My Brown Skin Because… by Julia A. Davis | Book Review Wednesday
I’ve posted a lot in the past about equality, rights, and prejudice because those are topics that are on my mind all the time. I live in a place (Texas, The South, or the United States in general, you choose) where bigotry and prejudice are spread wide in shouts as much as whispers, so from a young age, I was acutely aware of a sort of unspoken segregation that took place in my community.
In some cases, the segregation was loud and clear, like on the sign hanging on the way into my hometown that used to warn people of color to leave before the sun set – or else. It made me ashamed to be from a place so filled with hatred and ignorance, and was one of the reasons I moved away as soon as I could.
I won’t say I’m perfect now, or that I have always been a model of equality, but as I have grown, so has my understanding of the evils of prejudice and separatism. That’s one of the reasons I don’t tolerate hate speech from people around me, and also why I picked up this most recent book.
“Does your brown skin ever make you sad?” asked the African American author’s small grandson. She was stunned and heartbroken. Elsewhere, in a blog on parenting.com, a white woman was stunned when she asked her small daughter why she didn’t like a nanny applicant and the child asked back, “Because I don’t like her brown skin?”
Our children will never be color-blind, but they can be color-appreciative, if we have the tools to teach them.
I Like My Brown Skin Because… is a timely, necessary conversation launch pad for parents and children of every background. It’s for all who want their children to live without the limitations of prejudice. It’s for those who want to understand what’s behind today’s “racial” tension. Most importantly, it’s for the author’s grandson, and the probable millions like him, who should be confident in their own skin–never saddened by it.
From early West African civilizations, through slavery, to the civil rights movement and on to the present day, I Like My Brown Skin Because… is a fascinating story, filled with incredible people demonstrating the importance of education, morality and hope for the future. It’s a book for Black History Month and beyond.
I Like My Brown Skin Because… by Julia A. Davis is a book about skin color, race, and the history of the African American people. More than that, though, it’s a book about being comfortable in our own body, and being confident that we are just as we need to be.
Before I started this book, I thought I knew a lot about African American history, but I quickly realized that I was wrong. I learned a lot about activists, inventors, musicians, athletes, teachers, and more who changed the way we live in America. I learned about the experience of one black woman as she taught her grandson how to love himself and the skin he was born into.
This book gets four of five stars for being honest, educational, and written with children and adults alike in mind. I can’t wait to share this book with my kids, and I recommend it to anyone who has children of any color, creed, or national origin.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.