It's February! This month calls for celebration of love, sports and a reflection on black history. However, I find it more important to reflect on who I am and the people and events that impact my life as a young black girl. This year I chose to reflect on Mae Jemison, the Black Panther and the hidden figures. I even reflected on my journey as a young, black author and entrepreneur and how it has and will impact others.
I will begin with Mae Jemison. When I was in first grade, I was given a project to research an African American that made a great contribution to black history. I chose Mae Jemison. Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel to space on September 12,1992.
When I first learned about her, I had no idea I would later become the author of a science book which explores space. When I read my book Disco Balls of the Universe, it reminds me of her. Disco Balls of the Universe is a children’s book about the eight planets in the solar system. Me and my friends attend a party in space where we learn about the eight planets. Who knows, This party could actually become a reality. Mae Jemison is a very inspiring person to me. Her life and achievements taught me that no matter what I look like, I can achieve my dreams and I should always work hard and persevere to achieve my goals.
I have created a new kit inspired by Mae Jemison. The new Galaxy Exploration Kit is perfect for space lovers and kids who want to learn about the solar system. They can learn about the planet through my book, explore the planet with the planetarium while dressed up in the astronaut costume. This is a perfect gift for children ages 5 to 12 years.
When the movie Hidden Figures was released, my mom made it a priority for me to watch the movie. We saw the movie together on a mommy and me date and believe me, that was not the end of it. I had to write an entire paper for my mom explaining what I took away from the movie and how it applies to my present and my future. Hidden Figures is about three African American women who work at NASA and were treated differently from everyone else because of the color of their skin. At the time there was segregation, so there were separate bathrooms and different water fountains too. Even though they were smart, and very hard workers, they were not given the credit, respect, or position they deserved. However, in the end they proved themselves and got the respect they deserved. Through their stories I learned that no matter what obstacles I face, with perseverance I can still make an impact on the world.
You might say the Black Panther was just a super hero movie but for me and my mother it was not. This superhero film was a powerful representation of black people in the theater. I think the movie Black Panther taught me more about my African roots. The strength and intelligence we possess as black people.
My most inspirational figures in the movie are Shuri, played by Letitia Wright and T’challa played by Chadwick Aaron Boseman. Shuri is very smart and thinks of new ways to improve Wakanda’s technology, while T’challa shows his true strength when he kept on fighting to regain the throne.
In addition, I really loved the costumes in the movie. Mom and I went all out to see the movie. It was a great opportunity to embrace our culture. I still enjoy dressing up in cultural outfits to go to church or just to play dress-up. WAKANDA FOREVER!
As young black author I believe I contribute to the world by adding diversity on the book shelves. I believe it is important that children can see themselves being represented in the books they read. When I see pictures of other children reading my book, Disco Balls of the Universe, it really puts a smile on my face to know that people are inspired by my book.
It also really makes me joyful when I see diversity in other books because it’s nice to see all human differences being displayed in a positive way. I want to inspire people of all age to embrace their differences because being unique is a wonderful thing. Even though we might not look alike, think alike or act alike I believe we can all get along to make this world a happy place.
Are you celebrating black history? I would like to hear how you are celebrating. Who are your most inspirational African American figures? Please share it in the comment section below.
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