Book Title: I Love Your Brown
Author: Daneya L. Jacobs and Atiya Chase
Intended age range: Ages 4-8, in grades Pre-K to 3rd or 4th grade
Book Synopsis and backstory (from authors)
I Love Your Brown is a love letter from a mother to her brown daughter to love the skin she’s in. This book showcases brown girls of all shades and encourages them to be anything and to do anything they believe they can do. The inspiration behind I Love Your Brown are the author’s two daughters, who both participate in sports that are not populated with girls that look like them. Because of their experiences, the authors collaborated and wrote what is now I Love Your Brown. I love Your Brown has become the remedy to their children’s insecurities.
I LOVE everything about what this book stands for and more. Reading this book took me back to when I was a child growing up—A time when my mother echoed the same sentiments to me but from a different perspective. My vanilla latte skin complexion with fiery red hair oftentimes made me wish I was of a darker hue. In the eyes of many in my peer group, I appeared white or biracial instead of a black girl. My mother constantly told me to love my brown and to be proud of what I looked like. By the time I reached high school, while I still had to answer questions regarding my race, I finally embraced me, all of me. I came to the conclusion that anyone who couldn’t see my blackness or questioned one of my parents’ race had the problem, not me.
“Whether you are chocolate, mocha, or a caramel complexion, or round or lean, plump or petite. Girl, you can be anything!”
The message in I Love Your Brown is one that offers inspiration and empowerment to every brown girl (and boy). I read I Love Your Brown to my two pretty brown girls who are now 3 and 5 years old. The short phrases on the pages along with photographs as illustrations of brown girls in all shades of brown made it an easy read and engaging for my girls. I Love Your Brown is a book filled with affirmations, hopes and desires. It effortlessly points out the Black Girl Magic that every brown girl possesses.
“You bring the poet out of a sleeping artist; the color to a blank canvas.”
It is the perfect tool for parents of brown children to refer to when teaching their children to love the skin that they are in. To push for what they want out of life, even when one tries to place barriers and limitations within their pathway because of their skin tone; to teach brown children to be proud when they stand out of a crowd.
As a mother of 3 beautiful brown children, who attend private institutions to receive their primary education. I find it incredibly important to teach my kids that they are capable of achieving anything. I want them to always feel proud of their brown. My husband and I encourage our children to have friends that span ethnicity. To love their friends, embrace their differences but focus on how they are more of the same. And while we teach our children such values, it can’t be predicted that all of who they encounter will have those same values. In the instances where they don’t, my children will love their brown no matter what.
“Practice being your sister’s keeper, not just for brown girls but for all girls.”
Read. Play. Learn
Read I Love Your Brown. Mommies encourage creative Play with your little brown girl. Inspire her to bring out her inner artistry. Learn together answering the questions posed at the back of the book, your daughter’s passions and ambitions. Lastly, mothers, Love on your brown babies. Write your own love letter to your children as prompted by the authors in the book. Tell them how much you love and believe in them. It’s a sure way to build confidence in your growing child in an ever-changing society.
Facebook: I Love Your Brown
Authors Deneya Jacobs and Atiya Chase organized a workshop tailored to I Love Your Brown called Beautiful Reflections. Their workshop is one to spark conversation about what beauty is and how it is defined in an individual and personal way. I Love Your brown is used as a reference point and the lines of the poem are reflected up. You can book their Beautiful Reflections workshop on their website.
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Updated: This post has been updated in 2020 from its original post to reflect current changes.