Delaware authors encourage girls to embrace their skin tone

Atiya Chase and Daneya Jacobs read from their book

Atiya Chase and Daneya Jacobs read from their book "I Love Your Brown." (Andrea Gibbs/WHYY)

Two Dover mothers are helping their daughters and other little girls learn to feel confident in their own skin.

Atiya Chase and Daneya Jacobs are the authors of “I Love Your Brown.” The idea for the book was sparked by a conversation Chase had with her daughter Bella. “We were sitting in her room and we were just having story time in the afternoon and her little hand fell on mine. She immediately noticed the color difference and she said, ‘Mommy, I’m going to be peach like you.’ And the quickest thing I could come up with [was] four words, ‘I love your brown.'”

While the answer may have satisfied her daughter at the time, Chase wasn’t sure that her words were enough to really address her daughter’s insecurity with her darker shade. So she solicited the help of her best friend, Daneya Jacobs, who works on self-awareness programs for girls. “I had written poetry as a teenager, but hadn’t written anything in 10 years,” Jacobs said. But she would soon find inspiration and the two would team up and write “I Love Your Brown.”

The ladies had an opportunity to read from their book to students at Serviam Girls Academy in New Castle. “I think all little girls appreciate our book much more than our babies do because it’s so real to them. I love when they use words like, ‘it inspired me,’ ‘it empowered me,’ and ‘it encouraged me.’ These are all the words we wanted to be associated with this book,” Jacobs said.

Chase hopes others will find interest in their book because she says it isn’t just for black girls. “It’s for the woman who still has a little girl inside of her. It’s for brown people. It’s for people who are white. It’s for everyone.” She says the goal of the book is to empower girls, and help them appreciate each other’s uniqueness. That’s one of the reasons why the ladies chose to use photos of real girls in their book.

“I Love Your Brown” is available on Amazon.

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