• Camille Davis

Lupita Nyong'o's Sulwe teaches us to "Love Ourselves Before Anything Else."

Academy Award-Winning Actress, to producer, and now Children's Book Author, Lupita Nyong'o plans "to inspire children to see their own beauty," through Sulwe.

Simon & Schuster says, Sulwe is "a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within."

Sulwe means "star" in Lupitas mother tongue, Lou; and it's also the name of the main character of the book. Sulwe is not only the darkest skinned in her family, but the darkest in her school, uncomfortable with her skin color and wants to go about changing that. Her journey in doing so becomes a "magical" one, where she is taught to love herself and the skin she's in.

Lupita told Jimmy Fallon, "I would pray to God every night for lighter skin. Every morning I would wake up and run to the mirror and see whether he'd answer tm prayer, and I'd be so disappointed. That's one of the things Sulwe does in this book." The colorism conversation is so important in the African-and-African-American cultures, as society doesn't encourage people of color to love their skin, especially those of darker shades. Lupita used the pain that she felt growing up as a dark-skinned girl as "a weapon, a gift" for young girls who may be feeling the way she did; however the book also serves as a "window of understanding" for those who aren't affected by colorism.

"Love yourself before anything else," she says.

Sulwe is available for presales and hits shelves on October 15.

Photos via Simon & Schuster; Instagram.

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