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.
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!