Short Description (for those that don't like to read):
The Little Brown Bible Storybook for Children is an early reader book that depicts Biblical characters as people of color. The goal is to help children think about God's purpose for their life and help them understand that many of the characters in the Bible were actually people of color. For children of color, this book will help them understand that many Biblical characters may have looked like them which hopefully increases their connection to the Bible and God. We hope to create a generation of Godly children through strengthened relationships with the Bible.
As a Christian, lawyer and father of two young kids I recall searching for a biblical book so that my kids would have something to read during worship service. My wife and I begin our online search for biblical books accurately depicting people of color but there is such a lack of diversity in children’s literature. Characters in children’s books, including spiritual ones are almost always white and it’s a big problem. The problem is not new. Only 7% of all children’s books are authored by African American, Native American and Hispanic Americans combined.
I remember searching and searching to no avail and I vividly recall the sinking feeling I felt in my stomach knowing that I would have to reluctantly provide my kids with a book that intentionally depicts inaccurate bible characters. One night while my son was reading his book, he asked “if God loved people that look like us why did he make everything white?” That was a teachable moment that lit a fire under me. The accurate heritage of many of the biblical characters and their skin tone is something that my family has discussed and it’s important that we educate future generations about the true origins of Biblical characters from a young age. After undertaking a small project for my kids, I realized that other children and families could benefit from a biblical book that accurately highlights people of color.
I wrote this book because I wanted to teach my children the importance of acceptance in a world that intentionally excludes people of color from biblical narratives. My hope is that this book will encourage young kids to explore and research African and middle eastern cultures, learn how to love and embrace others, and also appreciate the fact that their culture is unique.
The Story of Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were the first man and woman God made. He put them in the Garden of Eden which was beautiful and full of trees that gave them shade.
God gave Adam and Eve one rule. DO NOT EAT fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; or they would surely die. The serpent told Eve she would not die which was a real big lie, so she took the fruit and gave it a try.
Eve ate the fruit and so did Adam. They did not obey God.
God was not happy with Adam and Eve because they had broken His rules. They covered their naked bodies and went and hid because they were ashamed of what they did.
Adam and Eve did not listen to God. So, they had to leave the beautiful Garden of Eden. Never to return.
Question: What happens when we disobey God’s rules?
Noah and the Ark
The people on the earth were mean and bad. God saw them, and it made him sad. One day God found Noah and told Noah He had a plan. Noah built an ark because God was going to flood the land.
God said he would destroy the earth by making it rain. Noah obeyed God and to others he tried to explain. He told them a flood was coming and only those in the ark would be saved. Noah kept building even when the people did not listen and misbehaved.
Noah, his family and two of every animal were saved on the ark when God shut the door. All the wicked people because of the rain would be no more.
God, let it rain for forty days and forty nights. When it was over, Noah knew he’d have a new life because of the olive branch brought back by a dove. God promised Noah that he would not destroy man again and gave the rainbow as a sign from above.
Question: Are you willing to obey God even when no one else does?
Moses: A Baby in the River
The Israelites were God’s chosen people. Pharaoh the king of Egypt was scared that they would get too mighty and strong and the Egyptians were too feeble.
The people knew God was a great giver. Pharaoh made a new rule that all Israelite baby boys would be thrown into the Nile River. He knew that it was wrong.
An Israelite woman had a baby boy she did not want anyone to see. She hid him for three months until she found a way for him to be free. She built a basket and set him down in the Nile River.
God was with the baby. Pharaoh’s daughter saw the baby in the water and claimed him as her own. She named the baby Moses and raised him until he was grown.
Moses was a great man. God would use him to do great things and to carry out His perfect plan.
Question: Has God ever protected you in a dangerous place?
When children can relate to the characters, they are motivated to read. This book is designed to entice all children into the world of books, increase vocabulary and comprehension, and connect with diverse readers. We want to ingrain into children the true depiction of biblical characters from a young age. We hope by educating children of color younger, we can start shifting and countering the growing narrative that Christianity is a “white man’s religion”. You will see the passionate details on every page. It will make a wonderful addition to your child’s bookshelf! I’d love for you to support this project because it means this message gets to go where YOU are. Your family, your school, your church, your neighborhood and that’s what this is really all about. Here are some ideas of who to get it for, if not for yourself: Your future children, your friends’ kids, your nieces and nephews, your cousins, your cousins’ kids, your grandkids, your godkids, etc.
Self-publishing these books will allow the book to stay 100% true to the vision and mission. This is not just a business venture, but an opportunity to provide a platform for countering the “whitewashing” of key biblical characters. The success of this campaign will help dispel the myths among future generations of the “Blue-eyed Blonde-hair Jesus” and that “Christianity is the White Man’s Religion.” In order to do so, we'll need your support! The cost and effort to self-publish a book are not cheap, nor easy. Specifically, I’m asking for $7,350 to cover the costs associated with illustrations, printing, shipping, backer rewards, Kickstarter fees, marketing and copyrighting. I've already paid for much of the cost on my own, but you can greatly help offset the remaining costs.
Many professional freelance illustrators charge $1,200 - $3,500 for a picture book, which is typically 32 total pages and includes cover illustrations. 500 quality board books printed through PrintNinja costs around $3,400. Securing an IBN and the copyright registration costs around $200. The remaining funds would go toward securing exclusive backer rewards and marketing costs (e.g., Amazon seller account; IngramSpark, etc.).
Remember, Kickstarter is all or nothing! If we don’t meet our $7,350 pre-sale goal, we won’t receive any of the money we need to fund the first print run, and you won’t receive your goodies. That means that we need your support—everyone’s support—to make this happen. Please take 30 seconds and paste this link to your social media with a note about WHY you think this project is important with the hashtag #LittleBrownBible.
While funding is definitely needed, I understand that not everyone can contribute money. I would appreciate any help in sharing this to your social channels and telling friends and family about the book. Thank you so much for your consideration and support. Speaking of spreading the word...I'm hoping not to lose any friends during this 30 day stretch, but I'm going to be sharing this project as often and as far and as wide as I can! I hope you'll join me! I can't do this alone and I'm SO proud to have such amazing friends who are willing to get behind this project and promote the bejeepers out of it!
For those who don't know me personally who will visit this page, I read that it will help people connect with the project so I'm sharing images of myself and the fellow authors who happen to be my family: (1) TeErra Bingham, my lovely wife; (2) Vickie Bingham, my mother; (3) Charlie C. Bingham III, my 7-yr. old son; and (4) Carlie Bingham, my 2-yr. old daughter.
If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to post a comment. We will be posting updates weekly and answering questions whenever they arise.
Risks and challenges
While every project comes with risks and challenges, I feel more than confident my book will make it into your hands. I expect the illustrations to be complete by end of August. Thereafter, I expect to have 500 board book copies printed and sent to me for shipping. As soon as I receive them, I will create an update that you will receive via email so you are kept in the loop. I've never produced anything from overseas so I am at the mercy of inexperience. I will communicate every step of the way to help you know your pre-order is secure. Of course, there can always be unexpected delays with bulk orders once the Kickstarter is complete, but I promise to do my absolute best in communicating any delays or issues. I want to ensure I meet your expectations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)