JAMESTOWN, N.C. — A Triad author is on a mission to promote diversity and inclusion with the publication of her new children’s book. In 2021, Brittany Nevels of Jamestown launched the first book of her series Brilliant Brown Minds. Nevels said her goal is to show children of color they can be anything they want to be if they put their minds to it.
She enjoys reading books with her 10-year-old daughter Essence. So much so, she was inspired to write one herself.
“This particular book started as a poem and it was a poem to my daughter,” Nevels said. “Just telling her to embrace herself and be herself and that she could be whatever she wanted to be.”
She is the author of Brilliant Brown Girls: What do you want to be? The children’s book showcases the career ambitions of 13 different girls of color. After struggling to find inspirational books with children who looked like her daughter, Nevels said she wanted to do something about it.
“Well if you look at the studies right now it’s easier to find a book with an animal or a person that isn’t of color as the main character than it is to find someone of color,” Nevels said. “African Americans are only five percent of the main characters.”
A ballerina, a judge, and a TV news anchor are just some of the many career possibilities featured in the book.
“I chose characters who you don’t necessarily see in that profession,” she said. “There’s a character with albinism. There’s a character with vitiligo. There are other nationalities, Native American, Indian, African American."
Daughter Essence even had a hand in the creation process.
“I like that one of them was a fashion designer which is what I want to be when I grow up,” Essence said.
Daring to dream while building self-esteem is what Nevels said her book is all about.
“Representation matters,” Nevels said. “They need to see themselves; they need to have that motivation. That yes! This person looks like me. They can do it, and they can do the same.”
She is currently writing the second book in her series. The next book will focus on the career aspirations of young boys of color.
Brilliant Brown Girls: What do you want to be? can be purchased on Nevels’ website.