Author Betty K. Bynum is on a role with inspiring children’s books. First came I’m A Pretty Little Black Girl in 2013, then I’m a Lovely Little Latina in 2015, and now, drum roll please…. I’m a Brilliant Little Black Boy is here! Her first two books were written for Bynum’s literary series, I’m a Girl Collection, as an inclusive book for young girls who don’t fit the prevailing standard of beauty. Textured hair, darker skin and eyes, a variety of body shapes- it’s all beautiful, and Bynum wants us all to know.
In an interview with Madame Noire, Bynum denounced how society has classified beauty; “Our girls look towards mainstream ideals of what ‘beauty’ is and too often those ideals are not representative of the natural beauty of little girls as they are.”
After I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl, Bynum’s son, Joshua B. Drummond, pointed out that while the idea was wonderful, “…what about the other girls? They are going to go to the library and they want a book about them too.” She agreed; “We have close friends and neighbors who are of every nationality… [I realized] through my intense personal research and conversations with friends that so many girls of color also go through the same esteem issues.” In response, she wrote I’m a Lovely Little Latina.
Bynum’s son influences her to make her inclusive books even more inclusive. In a press release, Drummond brilliantly stated;
“I would watch Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Every once in a while. There would be that one Black character within the friend group…But for my age, there was never a whole group of just boys, like cool Black kids for the cartoons in particular.”
Bynum and her 9-year-old son decided to bring “some positivity to the table” and to encourage black boys to seek out their interests, to never back down, and to strive for success. I’m a Brilliant Little Black Boy is the encouraging and inspiring counterpart to her previous books for young, diverse girls.
Image courtesy of Pinterest.
Through the #Bbrilliant campaign, Samuel L. Jackson, Vin Diesel, Denzel Washington, Michael Ealy, and Omari Hardwick all endorsed I’m a Brilliant Little Black Boy. “Positive, constructive tools to assist with self-esteem issues, strong examples of identity… a lesson plan is achievable for success,” Washington wrote in response to the book.
Bynum’s books are wonderful and we hope she makes plenty more!