2018 The National Board Of Review Annual Awards Gala
Getty Images

Lupita Nyong’o Publishing Children’s Book That Celebrates Melanin

Shook is an understatement. 

Academy Award-winning actress and star of the highly anticipated Black Panther movie, Lupita Nyong’o is set to publish her debut children’s book “Sulwe” with Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers out January 2019.

Nyong’o is sticking to her roots as “Sulwe” means “star” in her native language of Luo. Additionally, in the name of all things lovely and melanin-related the story follows the journey of a 5-year-old girl growing up in Kenya, who has the darkest complexion of anyone in her family; which makes her uncomfortable and intent on finding a way to lighten her skin. After talking to her mother and taking a journey in the night, Sulwe helps to recognize her beauty.

Over the years, the 12 Years a Slave actress has been very vocal about her own personal journey with acceptance of her skin complexion and has even called out Grazia Magazine for photoshopping out her natural kinky hair on its cover. Nyong’o hopes the book will plant a seed in a child’s mind and allow for later lessons that children “don’t necessarily recognize when they are reading the books,” Nyong’o said to The New York Times.

Reading with her mother was critical in her development and journey to self-acceptance, says Nyong’o. Her own issues with her complexion began as she realized people describe her lighter-skinned sister as "pretty and brown."

In a 2014 speech, Nyong’o addressed her insecurities about her darker skin complexion and delivered a memorable speech about the importance of representation in Hollywood and beyond. Most importantly, she cited a fan who decided against whitening her skin after seeing Nyong’o's success.

Skin bleaching and whitening have become more present in recent years as fans have called out celebrities like Sammy Sosa and Azealia Banks for altering their skin complexion.

Nyong’o hopes to target children aged 5 to 7 years old with her book because “you learn all the things that you spend the rest of your life trying to unlearn” around this time. Ultimately, she wants this to go beyond just her name and help children realize their beauty.

Shoutout to Lupita for spreading more #blackboyjoy and #blackgirlmagic.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Shaquille O'Neal attends the 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal Buys Home For Mother Whose Son Was Shot And Paralyzed At Football Game

In August, Isaiah Payton was leaving a high school football game when a round of gunshots occurred. A stray bullet hit the 12-year-old in his spine, paralyzing him from the chest down. In order for Payton to be released from the hospital, his home has to be up to code for accommodating a person with a long-term disability. Having lived in a one-bedroom apartment, this wasn’t feasible for his family but after learning about his story, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal stepped in to purchase a home for the family in College Park, Atlanta, 11Alive reports.

“I was watching the story and it’s just sad,” O’Neal began. “It could have been any one of us. It could have been my son. It could’ve been your cousin and she was living in a one-bedroom house with her two boys so we found her a one-bedroom house in College Park.” Alongside a couple of board members from Papa John's (which O'Neal holds a significant stake in) and the Atlanta City Fire Department, Payton's mother, Allison Woods, will also receive assistance.

“I’m going to pay her rent for the year and I’m going to give her some furniture and it’s sad because her son is paralyzed from the chest down and no mother should have to go to that,” O’Neal said.

On Wednesday (Oct. 16), police arrested and charged a 15-year-old boy with aggravated assault linked to the shooting.

Continue Reading
Daniel Kaluuya attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Daniel Kaluuya To Produce Live-Action ‘Barney’ Movie

Daniel Kaluuya is taking a step away from in front of the cameras to stand on the other side of the lens. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Get Out star’s 59% company will produce a live-action film on the beloved children's television character Barney. The movie will be produced alongside Mattel Films.

“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood," Kaluuya said via statement. "We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.”

Given this new take on the jolly purple dinosaur, Mattel Films’ executive Robbie Brenner believes audiences will appreciate a new approach to telling Barney’s story and “subvert expectations.” Brenner continued to state the film will not only resonate and entertain this generation’s youth but “the project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults.”

In 1992, Barney & Friends premiered on PBS, launching a decades-long run (1992-2009) of kid-friendly programming. Sheryl Leach first came up with the concept of Barney when she desired programming crucial to the social development of her son. Along with a team that helped to shape the premise of the show and its characters (B.J., Baby Bop), Leach’s creation made its way to PBS’ developers and the rest is history. The show also produced resounding melodies like "I Love You" written by Lee Bernstein. The song was a staple to the end of most episodes and promoted the show's message of compassion, consideration, and optimism.

Kaluuya is gearing up for the release of Queen & Slim directed by Melina Matsoukas and co-starring Jodie Turner-Smith.

Continue Reading
Amy Sussman

Kevin Gates Says Breastfeeding Incident Inspired His Weight Loss

Motivation comes in many forms.

Kevin Gates decided that it was time to lose weight after an “embarrassing” breastfeeding incident with his friend’s baby, the rapper recently admitted to Men’s Health.

“I had my shirt off and I was holding my patna’s baby and his baby tried to suck on my breast,” Gates explained in a video posted on Wednesday (Oct. 16) where he responded to internet comments.

The attempted breastfeeding obviously had a lasting effect on Gates, who dropped a whopping 100 pounds. “I was like ‘I am too f**king fat, and I’m a fat slob. I need to lose weight.”

Gates keeps the weight off by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a regular workout schedule. Thanks to his slimmer frame, Gates is no longer insecure about showing off his chest, but he's still haunted by the memory of his friend's baby trying to feed on his breast. “That was the most embarrassing sh*t,” Gates confessed. “Even though I'm a big gorilla, I got feelings, too. Man, that s**t hurt my fu**ing feelings.”

Hear Gates recall the full story and more below.

Continue Reading

Top Stories