Author Spotlight-Nancy Johnson James

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Nancy Johnson James
Photo Credit: Mawiyah Johnson

We spoke with Nancy Johnson James about her book Brown: The Many Shades of Love for National Poetry Month. Here is what she had to say:

I wrote Brown: The Many Shades of Love as a response to the conversations I have had with children about their own skin color and that of the people around them. In these conversations, I noticed that we begin to learn that some shades of skin are seen as having higher value than others. Assigning different values to human beings hurts all of us and we experience this harm while very young. I began to think about how to encourage people to both see and value our human diversity.  
 
People in my own family have a variety of skin colors as do my students. It’s important to me that the people I love hear messages and see images that nurture them. So, I asked myself what story would have been good for me to hear when I was a young child. What kind of story would have made a difference for me? I believe that we can heal that hurt we have experienced by telling stories that show our shared humanity. I also believe that our creativity gives us the ability to break down old barriers that aren’t good for any of us. 

 

Watch Nancy Johnson James read her book Brown: The Many Shades of Love exclusively for us!

Learn more about Nancy on her website.

 


 

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