- Published in October 2019, Sulwe addresses colourism.
- As a part of Tiffany Hadish’s series, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices, Nyong’o read from Sulwe.
- For this reading, Nyong’o has been awarded a Daytime Emmy for the Outstanding Limited Performance In a Children’s Program.
In October 2019, Lupita Nyong’o published Sulwe: a gripping children’s book on colourism. By asking what it truly means to be beautiful, the book encourages children to cultivate self-love.
In an interview with Barnes & Noble, Nyong’o said one of the reasons she decided to write a children’s book was “to heal grown-up wounds. I wanted to give myself the book I never had… Children the world over face colorism from a very young age, but it is not often directly addressed. And so the character of Sulwe was born to tackle the issue head-on.”
Since then, the book has received considerable commendations. These including a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Award and a forthcoming Netflix adaptation of the book.
In 2020, Nyong’o was invited to read from Sulwe on Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. Hosted on Netflix and produced by Tiffany Hadish, Bookmarks is a collection of twelve, five-minute episodes featuring prominent Black celebrities and artists readhing children’s books by Black authors. By so doing, Bookmarks looks to “spark meaningful conversations about empathy, equality, justice, self-love and anti-racism.” Alongside Nyong’o, other readers include Misty Copeland, Jacquelien Woodson, Common and Marsai Martine.
Starring in the fourth episode of the series, Nyong’o reads from Sulwe. For this, Nyong’o received an Daytime Emmy for the Outstanding Limited Performance In a Children’s Program.
Watch the award-winning performance below.