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.
"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.
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.
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.
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
"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
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
- (30 days)