Published in October 2019 by Simon & Schuster, Sulwe (illustrated by Vashtie Harrison) explores growing up in a world that favors lighter skin through its main character whose name is the book’s title. She learns how to embrace her dark skin complexion (the color of midnight) and beauty from within. Sulwe‘s healing story entertains children of all backgrounds.
“The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart,” said the Black Panther actress in a statement. “Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books and magazines, or even on TV. It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love. Sulwe is a mirror for dark-skinned children to see themselves, a window for those who may not be familiar with colorism, to have understanding and empathy, and an invitation for all who feel different and unseen to recognize their innate beauty and value. I am thrilled that the book is being adapted into an animated musical that we hope inspires children all around the world to celebrate their uniqueness.”
No word on when the adapted film will be premiered or who will lend their voice over talents to the project. However, Nyong’o will serve as producer of the melodic adaptation.
Watch Lupita read her New York Times bestselling book in a past episode of Netflix Jr series, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices!, hosted and executive produced by teen activist Marley Dias.