"Mommy, why don't I have white hair and why does my skin look like this?" Well, these were questions that I was definitely not expecting to ever hear from my little daughter. I was so surprised, shocked and confused. I really couldn't understand why my little pretty black princess was questioning the beauty of her hair and skin.
After much thought about this surreal moment, I realized that I had completely underestimated the impact on my daughter's self image when I decided to enroll her in a predominately white pre-school and when I was appointed as a pastor of a predominately white church. My daughter was receiving conflicting messages about her self image because everyone and everything around her at the time were white.
As a result of her inner struggle, we threw everything into overdrive and spent much time affirming our daughter even more. We also became intentional with purchasing toys and room decor that reflected positive and creative black images to reaffirm her beautiful blackness.
To further this effort, my husband and I began a small business and have made it our mission to produce various products that will reflect positive and creative black images so that little black girls and boys will be inspired and proud of the way they look.
This is a compelling true story about a young Black girl's family that lived in a thriving small Black community called Linnentown. Written by Hattie Thomas Whitehead, she describes her early childhood years in the 1960s and how her life and the lives of other Linnentown families changed the moment the City of Athens and The University of Georgia entered into an Urban Renewal (UR) contract. As a result of UR, Linnentown properties were taken for the university's expansion, residents were forced to move, and families were separated. Decades later, Hattie Thomas Whitehead chronicles life in Linnentown and her leadership role in seeking justice on behalf of Linnentown and its first descendants. Her goal is to give voice to a once vibrant and thriving community that was erased.