Precious, Princess & The Frog

November 18, 2009

This Friday, November 20th the movie, Precious, based on the book, Push by Sapphire opens nationwide.

On December 11th, Disney’s Princess and the Frog opens nationwide.

I’ll be going to see at least one of them on opening night, likely the Disney movie because I have a little one.

Here’s why you should too:

We need Opening Day Gold
Movies don’t stay in theatres very long anymore so opening night has become increasingly important. As much as I hate that fact, it’s still a fact.

Although international sales and DVD sales can all lend to a movie’s overall success, it’s opening night that deems how successful it’s perceived.

Die Myths, Die!
Strong opening numbers should put one more nail in the coffin of the myth that people of color don’t significantly support “their own” movies.

At the very least, it’ll put a nail in the coffin of the new myth that we’ll only go see Tyler Perry movies on opening night.

Real chance at Universal storytelling
Based on subject matter, both movies should appeal across racial barriers. Like *ahem* many stories by and with people of color in them do.

Black YA authors ready for Hollywood’s Call
Although Precious is about a young adult, I don’t really consider Push a YA novel. However, the movie’s success may lead filmmakers to take a closer look at the various YA novels out here by brown authors. There’s a vast untapped resource of brown children’s stories that can be adapted to film being totally overlooked.

Could be our last chance
It’s only taken the Mouse House about 40 years to put a black princess as lead in a film. I know that actually sounds like a good reason to thumb our nose at them and say screw their late to the table offering, but in the name of playing the cards we’re dealt – it’s here now, don’t support it at your own risk.

Who knows if we’ll ever get this chance again.

Better late than never
The Disney movie is cause for joy. In my day, Disney movies were primarily about animals and old-school fairy tales. I remember seeing Bambi at the theatres.

The new-school princess age was in full boon when my oldest daughter was in her Disney prime. So this new movie comes at a perfect time for my youngest daughter. Better late than never ever.

It’s what we’ve been waiting for!
Efforts like The Brown Bookshelf come down to dollars. No matter how many blog posts and showcases we do, if people don’t purchase the books we highlight we’re truly singing in the wind.

I choose to see these two movies as opportunities to stand behind all we say in the blogosphere. I hope their success trickles down to other literary works and to more diverse Disney projects.

One can hope.

One can always hope.

Welcome Aboard!

November 10, 2009

Psst, look to your right.

Notice anything different on our side nav bar?

No? Look again…

The Brown Bookshelf has two new members:

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of the MG/YA debut, Eighth-grade Superzero (Arthur A. Levine, 2010)


Tameka F. Brown, author of debut Picture Book, Around Our Way (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010).


If you’re wondering what the heck happened, no worries. You didn’t fall asleep and wake up in a new time period. Change is the creature one cannot outrun, outlast or outplay.

A few weeks ago, Carla Sarratt, one of our founding members informed us that she had to bow out due to an increased workload. We all know how those pesky day jobs can be. They really put a kink in the ol’ writing schedule.

We hated to see Carla go. But it so happens that we’d been talking about expanding our reach through increased membership for some time. So we lurked around kidlit spots and daydreamed about who on earth, among our peers, was crazy enough, I mean *ahem* willing to take on yet another book-related project.



All kidding aside. Anyone who blogs, reviews or reports on the kiddie lit industry knows that it’s a labor of love. It’s no easy feat to find people who care as much about others work as they do their own and that’s what it takes to be truly involved in the kidlitosphere.

Tameka and Olugbemisola are both active in the The Association of Children’s Authors and Illustrators of Color (ACAIC), a network of children’s authors of color and AuthorsNow! a marketing co-op of children’s authors debuting in 2010.

The old saying is true, if you want something done, ask the busiest person in the room!

We’re excited and pleased to have them aboard. Drop by and give them a warm, Brown Bookshelf welcome in the comments, will you?

For more on our newest members, read the press release and see their bios on the About Us page.