Black women and girls are often depicted negatively in the media. Whether we’re constantly told that our ability to marry is slim to none, or that we will contract every disease known to man, if you believe the media hype, it’s been a rough couple of years for black women.

Thankfully, there are outlets such as this that push back against the constant negative rhetoric and provide a platform for women who are not only defying the stereotypes, but also moving the conversation about black women and our images to higher levels.

But what about our daughters, sisters, nieces, and cousins?

Many young sistas are often left completely out of the conversation. They rarely see positive images of themselves onscreen or in their local toy store, which is why one Louisville mom’s new coloring book project is so necessary.

After she couldn’t find a coloring book for her daughter with characters that mirrored her little one’s likeness, Miss Gee decided to make her own.

She explains on her website:

The idea for Miss Zee’s coloring books originally came about when I couldn’t find any coloring books that contained characters with the likeness of my daughter Zee. (Zee has medium brown skin and dark, puffy Afro hair.) This resulted in me only buying her coloring books that contained images of non-human characters like Hello Kitty. However, coloring books with human-like characters that had straight hair and white skin (when in color) were purchased for her by family members anyway. Rather than throwing those books away, I taught Zee how to create more diverse images by coloring them in different shades (including one similar to hers) and how to draw on Afros to prevent her for from feeling guilt for not looking like these characters, as I did as a child.

Mama Gee got to work, creating cute-as-a-button, Afro-puffed characters and uploaded them to the web for others to use. When she received word from other moms, teachers, and caregivers that they loved her images because they showcased the beauty of black girls, she decided to create a coloring book.

To aid in getting her Miss Zee coloring books into the hands of little black girls all over the globe, Miss Gee is attempting to raise $5,000 through Kickstarter campaign. So far, she’s raised  about $1,300 and has 15 days to raise the rest, or she will lose all of the funding.

We talk about the necessity of positive images for black girls all the time. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is!

To download a free Miss Zee coloring page and to donate to help bring the Miss Zee coloring book to the masses, visit the book’s Kickstarter page here.

  • http://gravatar.com/teachermrw teachermrw

    Great idea!

  • Kam

    I remember the day that I saw a teacher of mine coloring in a girl in a coloring book with brown skin and black hair. That had never even crossed my mind as a child to do that before then. I had always colored them in with the yellow crayon for blonde and the peach crayon for the skin. Blue eyes if they needed color too. That was years ago (I am 30 years old).

    I was dismayed recently when I was helping out a friend’s then 6 year old who is half Black and half Navajo Indian and she started coloring a gingerbread man with blond hair. She must have seen the look of disapproval on my face because she asked “Is this a human or a gingerbread man?”. “Gingerbread man” I said. Then she started coloring the rest of the gingerbread men with any old color. I guess not being around kids I didn’t realize this was still happening (though totally not surprised).

  • pink

    Wow the politicians are spending millions on a campaign, and we can’t come up with $5,000 to put this coloring book in motion

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    This is a great idea. Hell I want this coloring book too! So donating I hope this gets passed around some more on the popular black blogs sites.

  • http://iolastar.com iolastar

    I absolutely love this idea! I’m gonna share this link with all my friends and authors.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Sad that Beyonce’s baby post and Eric Bonnet “redbone” posts get more comments/interests than this one. I just checked out her page and it’s a great project I hope her goal is met in time.

  • http:///www.misszee.net Miss Gee

    I would like to thank Clutch and all of you for your support. This coloring book is only the beginning. Thank you!

  • http://gravatar.com/shiningsolace shiningsolace

    This is a wonderful idea! I’m going to donate ASAP.

  • Mademoiselle

    I had somewhat of an opposite experience. I remember being given a picture of native Americans to color, and (because I didn’t fully understand what a native American is, I guess) I started coloring each one a different color so I could have a multi-cultural picture. I finished making one man white, another man hispanic, and was about to make my last man black. When I first started coloring, I was wondering why he was coming out black like the crayon instead of black like my skin, so I pressed harder–and it got worse. That’s the day I learned adults don’t know their colors.

    Maybe the girl in your story intended all along to color the gingerbread man all different colors. Instead of telling her it was a gingerbread man, you could’ve asked her what she wanted it to be and why she chose those colors.

  • Mademoiselle

    this comment was directed @ Kam… Clutch’s commenting mechanism doesn’t seem to be the greatest

  • kagu

    I love that you’re putting out a coloring book, but are all the images just of girls faces or girls standing? Is there a possibility of adding girls playing? I’d love to see images of the children *active*.

  • Sue

    Definitely a different perspective. I saw a children’s picture book about a boy who started coloring a horse unusual colors e.g. yellow, green etc. An adult came by and asked him to stop. I think part of the problem is not race *sometimes* but that as adults we have lost some of our imagination. We might be quick to correct the use of the “wrong” color, but what we should really do is ask the child what they intended to portray by using the color they chose.

    I think Miss Zee’s coloring books is a great idea. I hope she can raise all the money she needs to get this of the ground.

  • Jess

    i will donate! great idea! just fyi, the ABC network plans to show Eddie Murphy’s “Norbit” in the first week of August – the abuse and ridicule of Black women never ends in America. Miss Gee’s idea is wonderful! We need to do all we can do to counter the pure hatred that comes at Black ladies (young and old) at all times.

  • Jess

    on the kickstarter page i see where she has a girl playing as a mermaid and one of a girl holding a heart-shaped balloon.

  • K. Michel

    Donating. Something like this is very important for African and African-American girls.

  • Kam

    She was definitely coloring him as a white man. As a former teacher I know when kids are coloring things fancifully. And I absolutely don’t mind when they do. The point was to illustrate that even that young the message she got was that humans in coloring books = white. I know these kids and have babysat for them plenty of times. Trust me on this one.

  • NTG

    I wish I had a twitter account to help spread the message. I would be ecstatic to see this in stores. I wish I one when I was growing up. Good job Miss Gee : )

  • Mary

    I am a teacher and I give my students fun coloring pages as a reward during a movie showing. I always have a example of the coloring page and I ALWAYS color the character to be a person of color. My students got the biggest kick out of seeing Thor with brown skin and dreads and Iron Man/Tony Stark rocking mocha skin and a Caesar. But I think the best reaction was that of my one lone African American girl student, who asked me to autograph my version of The Invisible Woman… she was a dark rich brown color with deep brown eyes. I imagined my own daughters and this student as I colored it in. My student said, ‘She’s shouldn’t be invisible. She’s beautiful!’ I couldn’t agree more, darling.

  • http://www.facebook.com/this.girl.loves.the.80s Angelique J.

    You read my mind.

Latest Stories

Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’s Mimi Faust Responds To Sex Tape

by

Common & Kanye West Want To Create 15,000 Jobs For Chicago Youth Over The Next 5 Years

by

NY Disbands Secret Squad That Spied on Muslims

by

Open Thread: Do You Believe In Monogamy?

by
More in girls, Kickstarter
Girls
“Girls” and the Black Sexuality Double Standard

Close