Latest posts by Bryanna Briley (see all)
- How Exceptional Black Women Lead — A Conversation With Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever
Dr. DeWeever’s latest book helps black women realize their full potential- June 12, 2018
- Nick Cave’s Soundsuits Confront Racism With Radical Artistry [Video]
An exhibition entitled “Here Hear” was previously on display at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Detroit, close to Cave’s alma mater.- October 17, 2016
- Body PositiveSpeaker Malia Anderson Talks Passion, Perseverance and Paying It Forward
“What if I just woke up every morning and said ‘This is my body and I love it.’ and then I went out the door and presented myself in the best possible way?”- October 9, 2016
Mylo Freeman, a black Dutch author and illustrator, was inspired to write her Princess Arabella books after she heard the shocking story of a little black girl who didn’t believe that a black girl could be a princess in school play, let alone real life. Freeman knew then that there needed to be a children’s books with black princesses, so that other little black girls would feel like being a princess was a realistic dream.
Freeman has now written ten books about the adventures of Princess Arabella, with more to come. When it came to getting her books sold on the American market, she ran into a snafu she wasn’t expecting. The white American publishers were concerned about Arabella’s hairstyle, claiming, “her hair looks uncombed, our audiences will be offended.” Though Freeman is familiar with the historical plight faced by black women about their hair, she still couldn’t believe that her hair choices – modelled after traditional African hairstyles – could be that offensive in the American market.
Though the Princess Arabella books were well-received by Nigerian publishers and other African countries, the series is one of the few published in Holland with a black leading character. Freeman marketed her book in Holland by reaching out via social media and setting up tables. Further, other young children of color feel proud to see a darker-skinned child playing the lead role in a story.
Freeman’s work as an author is extremely important. Book series like hers – where the lead character is not white, blonde-haired, and blue-eyed – help young children of color to see themselves in roles of power, and help all young children to be receptive and empathetic towards their peers who come from different ethnic backgrounds.
“Many children of colour see the world only through windows but they also need mirrors. Other children only see mirrors and they need to see the world through windows,” Freeman said in an interview with the Guardian.