Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o: Book Review

I know that in the recent weeks, with the extremely delayed awareness happening amongst white people about just how deep rooted racism has been and still very much is, white parents have been rushing to fill their homes with ‘diverse’ books, and I know that with Lupita Nyong’o being quite a famous face, that this book is an easy’ish find, and has been talked about a lot…

But it’s been talked about a lot for a reason…

We’ve had this on our shelves for quite a while now, and it’s still just as breathtaking and heartbreaking every time we open it…

Sulwe is the story of a girl who feels like she is less than her lighter skinned family members, friends and others…

It’s a really heart aching read, to read about how this child feels so heavy because of the colour of her skin…

Throughout the book, Sulwe learns about how the Earth cannot thrive with light alone, and how night is just as vital…

The message in this story is poignant. It is so important that Black children hear this message and feel these words, but I think it’s vital that our white children hear them too, because instead of ignoring colour or ‘not seeing colour’, we should be seeing it, understanding the injustices that have happened to people because of it, learning the stories, appreciating the journeys, listening to the words and appreciating that not seeing colour is erasing so much of what Black people battle through.

But we also need to teach our children to see all of the colours, so that they can truly appreciate diversity in all of its beauty, surely?! And this book is fantastic for explaining that the Earth needs the night too.

I sit with the girls and we discuss the messages in the books we read, because when we are covering topics that are so relevant to the world we are living in and that we are riding the wave of white privilege in, I want to know they’re truly absorbing the message that melanin is a pigment and should not change your worthiness to live, worthiness to survive, worthiness to happiness, worthiness to love, worthiness to being and to thrive.

The illustrations in this book, again, are absolutely stunning.

The story is beautiful and meaningful, the illustrations are eye catching and the contrast is purposeful and perfect…

This is a definite recommendation from us.

L xxx

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