Since starting the youngblacknappy blog over five years ago, it’s become more and more apparent to me how important representation is for the Black community. When mainstream media consistently reinforces features that don’t look like ours (pale skin, long blonde hair, narrow features, etc.) as beautiful, it’s difficult for Black and Brown folks to recognize the perfect beauty in ourselves. This is one of the main motivations behind sharing pictures of Black people rockin’ fierce fros, lovely locs, and other gorgeous natural hairstyles on our Facebook page and Tumblr.
Now that I’m a mother, it’s even more important for my family to seek out books, magazines, television shows, and movies that portray those who look like me, my husband, and my son as not only attractive but moral, intelligent, and powerful. We want to be surrounded by stories and images that affirm us and our people, empowering us to live lives of purpose and pride. Over the past two years, we’ve built our son, King Khaliq, a mini library of books featuring Black characters with a variety of complexions, hairstyles, and backgrounds doing everything from (playfully) breaking all the rules to double-dutching on their stoop in Philly to reading to their baby brother. However, as our baby has grown into an active toddler, it’s been harder for us to find activity books that are just as diverse. There are lots of books featuring kids that don’t look like mine, even some with Black kids as secondary characters – but we haven’t found many where kids of color are front and center. That’s why I was so excited to learn about The Curly Kid’s Coloring Book from CurlCentric.com; it’s a coloring book where every picture is a kid with kinky, curly, coily, or loc’d hair!
Even more than the adorable images of young naturalista’s flaunting their curly tresses, I love the motivation behind this coloring book:
The Curly Kids Coloring Book […]was created because Curl Centric understands the importance of representation. It is important for little girls with textured hair to see images that look like them. The book features more than thirty different images, including action shots, mermaids, princesses and ballerinas. The girls in the coloring books have also arranged their hair in a variety of styles that range from cornrow braids, puffs, two strand twists, bantu knots, wash and gos, locs and many more, to show girls with curly hair the amazing potential their hair has to be defined and redefined.
Not only is the book’s purpose rooted in pride and upliftment, but the coloring pages are super cute! Some of my personal favorites are of the little Black mermaids who aren’t afraid the get their natural hair wet! Ha! While this particular book is focused on Black girls, we’d love to see CurlCentric.com come out with another fantastic coloring book featuring Black boys with afros, locs, and more! Check out the samples of the coloring sheets below – and make sure you download the full sized images for your favorite curly cutie!