AUTHOR NYASHA WILLIAMS
WRITING TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE
Here are the stats, while 37% of our population are people of color, only 13% of children's books over the past 24 years contain "multicultural" content. African American children deserve quality books that will inspire and allow the flow of imagination.
I started writing because, a newlywed, I often think about our future additions to the family and what I want for them. What I want them to see and know about themselves. I need them to know who they are before anybody tells them who they are.
WHAT'S THE COMMOTION IN THE OCEAN? -A RHYMING STORY ABOUT SAVING OUR OCEANS
What's the Commotion in the Ocean? is a rhyming children's book reflecting on the current happenings in the ocean and what we can do to help. Being a humanitarian is at the core of my being, and I am to live by the quote, "The true meaning of life is planting trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit." I wrote this book to address our impact as humans on the ocean and inspire change.
A mermaid tells the story, and she is African American. It is inspired by my love of mermaids and fantasy lore. I have always wanted to be a mermaid, but it is hard to have or live out those dreams if you never see illustrations, images, or media that reflect it. The ability to see yourself in a book is a beautiful experience, one that I want for all children. It is currently privilege, one readily available to some, but not all.
I want every reader to experience the feeling of being understood on a deeper level through engaging in a book.
UPCOMING BOOK: I AFFIRM ME
a modern alphabet book of affirmations for children to inspire and remind them of their inner power, glow, and strength.
While this is the first children’s book I ever wrote, it is my second I have had illustrated and working towards being published. My goal in designing the book was to create an alphabet book of affirmations for children to inspire them and remind them of their inner power, glow, and strength. I wanted to create something that reassures them what we already know to be true. My inspiration came to me from running across the Back to School Vintage Alphabet, cue my ABC book.
“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful, and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become.” ~ Brooke Hampton
Affirmations are ~ ‘to affirm to one’s self. ‘ Positive words that are absorbed by the mind to create your belief system. Once the affirmations are learned, they work by coming to mind when that belief is challenged. The more an affirmation is repeated, the stronger it becomes.
What we think we create. Our thoughts interpret events and create an emotional reaction. Our emotions, in turn, lead to action. Positive thoughts create positive action.
Children absorb all the comments and labels they receive into their unconscious minds like sponges. It is important to live consciously living. When we live without reflection, a lot of damage can be done. We can settle for far less than our capabilities. When we learn to think before we act and question our thoughts, we change this. Affirmations teach a child to be conscious of what he thinks and therefore does. This creates active, positive living.
Media, entertainment, and other forms of popular culture play a significant role in shaping our perceptions of others. For many of us, popular culture is the primary way we learn about people who are different from us. The problem is that many representations are based on cultural stereotypes, which tend to marginalize and caricature members of underserved populations.
Through these representations, we see a limited and distorted view of others. Both entertainment and news media are powerful forces in creating and perpetuating negative cultural stereotypes, especially about racial and ethnic groups. In television and film, characters from underserved racial and ethnic groups are portrayed through formulaic tropes, and their storylines often follow cliche narratives. The consistency of these representations reinforces stereotypes and makes them more readily available in our minds.
Affirmations are necessary; They teach us positive self-talk, to speak to ourselves with kindness. As we grow, we can develop a habit of criticizing ourselves, harming our self-confidence, and lowering our resilience. For children to learn positive self-talk from a young age, helps prevent self-criticism, as a strong and positive belief system has already been created from within.
Affirmations are a powerful and holistic way of building a positive mind and happier children. Nurturing their authentic self, and helping them to enjoy the magic of childhood.