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The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy is a children's book that vividly illustrates the joy possessed by little black boys.
The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy is a children's book that vividly illustrates the joy possessed by little black boys.
The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy is a children's book that vividly illustrates the joy possessed by little black boys.
193 backers pledged $9,102 to help bring this project to life.

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The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy

$9,102

193

CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP!

We've added a pledge package in honor of our brother, Philando Castile. This stretch goal pledge will fund one copy of "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy," for you and one copy donated to St. Paul Public Schools. 

#BlackBoyJoy

"The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" is a vividly illustrated, history-based children’s book that brings to life Roy, a joyful Black boy. Roy will take your sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, class on a biopic journey of joy with some of the world’s most notable Black men – who, lest we forget – were all at one time young Black boys.

Illustrated by Chris Turner ©2017
Illustrated by Chris Turner ©2017

Why This Book Now?  

We all know that Black boys and men are under-represented and mis-represented across all mediums. Research by the Opportunity Agenda shows that in addition to overall under-representation and exaggerated negative associations, the missing stories of Black men and boys affects their attitudes and actual life chances.

During one of the too-many-to-count senseless killings of a Black man, Officer Betty Shelby said that she was overcome by fear in her justification for the need to shoot and kill Terrance Crutcher as he simply waved down help for his stalled vehicle. My visceral reaction to this was an appropriate mixture of anger and sadness. I mean, do you know how many over six feet, hefty Black men and boys that we know who are some of the world's most lovable and playful people you will ever meet? Too many to count. But Betty Shelby doesn't. We believe that this "big bad dude" scared her because her understanding of Black men has been shaped by distorted images, stories, and depictions of Black men that are conjured by the media. So not to beat a dead horse, but these media misrepresentations have real and tragic consequences.

We want this book to remind little Black boys who they are and whom they come from. We also hope that this book illuminates the humanity of Black boys and reminds everyone that we are more alike than we are different.

Now, back to the joy. 

Illustrated by Chris Turner ©2017
Illustrated by Chris Turner ©2017

We were lucky to partner with Chris Turner, a young black artist who brought Roy to life in a manner that we could have never imagined (I mean, did you see that cover!!?). We have been at work producing the book for almost two years; now it's time for the rubber to meet the road.

Sketches by Chris Turner ©2017
Sketches by Chris Turner ©2017

How You Will Help Us Spread the Joy

As mentioned above, this has been a labor of love for close to two years, and we're so excited to get "The Joys of Being A Little Black Boy" into the little hands of thousands all over the country. But we need your help.

Not only will your backing of this book help put the book directly into the hands of public school students in various U.S. cities, it will help us with the print run and the distribution of the book to major retailers (both brick-and-mortar and digital) all across the country. Your support will also assist us in executing the marketing and promotions plan for this book.

That brings us to today. 

THE JOY TIMELINE

This project is print ready and we've partnered with a distribution company that will help us ship this book to retailers all over the country. Here's our plan: 

  • JUNE – We’ll kick start our Kickstarter Campaign (rim shot...see what I did there?) 
  • JULY - Fulfillment, fulfillment, fulfillment! If - I mean, when - we reach our goal (we can do this with your help!), we’ll move forward with our first print run and distribute to book retailers throughout the country, but not before we send all of our backers their copies.
  • AUGUST – Books hit classrooms, as well as brick-and-mortar and digital retailers
Illustrated by Chris Turner ©2017
Illustrated by Chris Turner ©2017

"And you say Chi city!"

Did we mention that this story is set in Chicago? A city discovered by a Black man and was instrumental in giving the the U.S. its first Black president. [Not to mention Common, Kanye, Chance, Dwayne Wade, Isiah Thomas (the first one), Stuart Scott ...whew! I could do this all day so I'll stop.]

Counter to the narrative, this town is brimming with Black boy joy! Don't even get me started on the sisters (shout out to Michelle!) 

As Seen On 

HuffPost Black Voices
HuffPost Black Voices

 

 

Vibe Magazine
Vibe Magazine

 

Risks and challenges

Printing and Distribution:

Our primary challenge is printing "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" in the format it deserves. Valerie has written a joy-filled, grin-inducing story and Chris has created phenomenal artwork that is best enjoyed in full spreads and high resolutions. We do not want to side step. (Ain't no half-steppin')

Thank you for your support!

SHARE | SUPPORT | SAY HI
Website: joyofbeingablackboy.com
E-mail: FMI@hurstonmediagroup.com

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Five Dolla' Holla

    Your support will be "joyfully" appreciated. Backers at this amount will receive:
    • a Roy button with the iconic, Joys of Being a Little Black Boy image.

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    17 backers
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    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    The Mandela

    For every year that Nelson Mandela spent in jail simply for seeking his freedom and that of all Black people in South Africa during Apartheid, backing us at this level will provide you with:
    • one copy of "The Joy of Being A Little Black Boy"
    • one Roy button

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    74 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Philando

    Honoring the young, black man who was murdered by a frightened police officer in St. Paul, MN, backing us at this level provides:
    • one copy of "The Joys of Being A Little Black Boy" for you; and
    • one copy of "The Joys of Being A Little Black Boy" donated to students in the St. Paul Public School district

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    16 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Double-Up

    We hear you! You have need more than copy. You have more than one black boy in your life who needs an advanced copy. This is for you:
    • two (2) copies of "The Joys of Being A Little Black Boy"
    • two (2) Roy buttons

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    24 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The Roy

    Named after "The Joys of Being A Little Black Boy" adventurer, after making this pledge you will receive:
    • 1 Copy of "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" for you
    • 4 Copies of The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy will be donated to Chicago Public School students.
    • A Roy Button

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    11 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Chris Turner

    Titled after our amazing illustrator, after making this pledge you will receive:
    • 1 Copy of "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" for you
    • 4 Copies donated to Dayton Public School students
    • A Thank You postcard w/exclusive art from Chris Turner, our illustrator.
    • A Roy Button

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    16 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The LaQuan

    Titled in memory of LaQuan McDonald, a young man who was also an Illinois Ward-of-the-State shot 16 times and killed by the Chicago Police Department. After making this pledge you will receive:
    • 1 Copy of "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" for you
    • 10 Copies donated to children who are in foster care or wards of the State within the Illinois Department Human Services.
    • A Thank You postcard w/exclusive art from our illustrator.
    • A Roy Button

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    3 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The Tamir

    Named in memory of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy who Ohio Police saw as a man and shot and killed, after making this pledge you will receive:
    • 1 Copy of "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" for you
    • 15 Copies donated to Cleveland Public School students
    • A Thank You postcard w/exclusive art from illustrator
    • A Roy Button

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    4 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The Trayvon

    Named in memory of Trayvon Martin, a Black boy who was stalked and killed by a white man who saw him as a criminal merely for his black skin and hoodie. After making this pledge you will receive:
    • 1 Signed copy of "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" for you
    • 30 Copies (1 classroom set) donated to Miami-Dade County Public Schools
    • A Thank You postcard w/exclusive art from illustrator
    • A Roy Button

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    1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    The Emmett

    Named in memory of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black boy who was lynched by white men. After making this pledge you will receive:
    • 1 signed copy of "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" autographed by the author and illustrator
    • 60 Copies (2 classroom sets) donated to students in South Side Chicago Public Schools
    • A limited edition 24x36 poster signed by the illustrator
    • A Thank You postcard w/exclusive art from illustrator
    • A Roy Button

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    The Barack

    Named in celebration of “our” President, after making this pledge you will receive:
    • 1 signed copy of "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" for you autographed by the author and illustrator
    • Dinner with the Hurston Media camp (we're pretty cool people)
    • 120 Copies (4 classroom sets) donated to students in South Side Chicago Public Schools
    • A limited edition 24x36 poster signed by the illustrator
    • A Thank You postcard w/exclusive art from illustrator
    • A Roy Button

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    0 backers
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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    The MLK

    Named in celebration of the beloved civil rights hero who was assassinated by a white supremacist while on the balcony of the Loraine Motel, after making this pledge you will receive:
    • 1 signed copy of "The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy" autographed by the author and illustrator for you
    • 150 Copies (5 classroom sets) donated to students in Atlanta, Chicago and/or Cleveland
    • A classroom reading, panel discussion, and/or speaking engagement w/ book signing from the publishers, author and illustrator (city of your choice)
    • A limited edition of an 24x36 poster signed by the illustrator
    • A Thank You postcard w/exclusive art from illustrator
    • A Roy Button

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Funding period

- (30 days)