“JUST LIKE ME”
When we started AcuteByDesign, our major driving purpose was to publish diversity books, books that especially children of color but also children of other minority groups—Native Americans, Latinos, and others—could read and identify with. Black kids, for example, could read about other Black kids and think, “He/she is just like me.” Although there are more diversity books for kids available now than, say, five or 10 years ago, it’s still an underserved reading segment. We aimed (and still aim) to help close that gap.
But it soon became obvious that there was another purpose we could serve: Showing kids of all colors—white, black, brown, red, yellow—that kids whose skin color is different from theirs still share the same experiences, the same hopes and fears and wishes…that despite the ethnic differences, these kids are “Just like me” too.
You don’t have to be Black to resist using up the last of a favorite toy (The Last Drop of Sunshine)or to have mixed emotions about the impending arrival of a new sibling (When I Got a Sister). You don’t have to be Latino to be upset at the prospect of your family moving to a new house (Moving Day for Alex).You don’t have to be Native American to have issues expressing yourself or participating in school (Just Indian).And so it goes with our other diversity books, too.
Kids of anyethnicity can relate to the kids in our books and say, “Hey—that’s just like me!” And when a commonality is found, understanding can grow.
In the four years since AcuteByDesign’s founding, we have broadened our scope to include books for adults and non-diversity books for kids, but we promise you we will never forget our core missions:
1 – To offer books to African American children as well as kids from other minority groups that depict kids who are “just like them.”
2 – To offer books to all kids that show them that kids from other ethnic backgrounds share the same hopes, fears, problems, and dreams that they hold, and thus prove that kids of any ethnic group can be “just like them.”
As our mission statement says: “AbyD creates books so that readers of all races, cultures, and religions can be touched by the gift of literature. We want our writers and illustrators to empower girls and boys as equals in their abilities to dream and to achieve as they have dreamed.“
The publisher and staff of AcuteByDesign
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash