Blog Posts

Book Deal

I know I haven’t blogged in ages, but I have a good reason to come back. I’ve been writing for children, and my agent sold Honeysmoke, my debut picture book about a little girl who discovers her color, to Imprint/Macmillan Children’s. Geneva Benton will illustrate, and publication is scheduled for Fall 2018. I am beyond excited. First of all, the book draws its name from this blog, and it tells a story about identity that many parents and children don’t

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Skylar Has A Dream

It’s not every day that you hear a 3-year-old deliver his version of Martin Luther King’s speech. If he can do this at 3, there’s no telling what the future holds for this child. Enjoy. Share

Tying the Knot

I’m shocked — simply shocked that children of prominent Republicans are marrying people of color. The nerve. In May, Lindsay Boehner, daughter of House Speaker John Boehner, married Dominic Lakhan. The groom was born in Jamaica and sported dreadlocks at the ceremony. A few days ago, Jack McCain, son of Sen. John McCain, married Renee Swift. I have a few words for these couples. Welcome to the family. Share

So Long School Year …

When we sent Simone and Nadia to school last August, we were so proud we had a second-grader and a kindergartener. Our girls were excited to meet new teachers and friends. Simone walked through the doors with confidence, and Nadia barged in right behind her. All was well with the world. Then the torrent that is public school took over our lives. There were the requests for money. Lots of money. Money for yearbooks and T-shirts and field trips. There

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Good Read

Parents are apparently raising a nation of wimps. The mental state of students is now so precarious for so many that, says Steven Hyman, provost of Harvard University and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, “it is interfering with the core mission of the university.” I’m trying my best not to raise two weenies. Really, I am. Simone and Nadia have discovered their bikes. Each day they want to strap on their ladybug helmets and pink knee

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Writing for Children

It’s been quiet in these parts because I’ve been working on my picture books. Yes, there are two, and I’ve been trying to get one of them polished and shiny enough to send to an agent, who requested some revisions. There aren’t many second chances when it comes to literary agents. That means I better impress her or go home. Writing for children is not as easy. It has taken me two years to get to this point. I think

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Family Tattoo

  “If you guys ever decided you’re going to get a tattoo, then Mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place. And we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo.” President Obama, addressing what he will do if his daughters get a tattoo, on NBC’s Today Show. I got a chuckle out of this. Tattoos are prevalent these days. I’m not even sure if they are truly viewed as a sign

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Changing World

It’s been a rough week. There has simply been too much bad news — Boston, ricin, fertilizer explosion — and not enough good. I really need a sweet puppy video or something else to make me smile or laugh. All is well in our home, but there is danger and fear and hate just outside our front door. In Boston, bombs took the lives of three people, including an 8-year-old boy. Then, in the wake of tragedy, some felt the need

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Code Switch

  What’s a code switch? Well, I do it when I talk to older black folks. They are my elders, and I get all sing-songy when I talk to someone who deserves my respect. I often don’t know these people well, but I treat them a lot like I would treat my grandparents. I didn’t think anything of my code switching, until the man, who would later become my husband, pointed it out to me way back in the 1990s.

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