The book, written by Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison, follows a young Kenyan girl named Sulwe who wishes for her dark skin to be fairer. Sulwe is visited by a shooting star sent by the night that opens her eyes and changes her perspective. This important story addresses colorism, self-esteem and recognizing inner beauty.
Nyong’o is set to produce the new Netflix film, and its’ impactful story will now reach the hearts and minds of many more children and adults across the world. Lupita shares with Variety why the content in the book is so significant to her, “The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart. Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books and magazines, or even on TV. It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love.”
Representation has been an issue in Hollywood for years, and actors like Nyong’o are actively working to change the way we consume media.
Nyong’o was featured reading her book “Sulwe” in Netflix’s Bookmarks, which is a live-action series featuring prominent Black celebrities and artists reading children’s books from Black authors that highlight the Black experience. Fans can watch the episode with Lupita on Netflix and Netflix Jr.’s Youtube channel.
An influx of animated features are in the works at the streaming platform including Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” adaptation, Minkyu Lee’s “The Witch Boy, and Aardman’s sequel to “Chicken Run.”
What an exciting addition to a growing list of Black History Month moments to celebrate! Be sure to catch Sulwe, an animated Netflix musical, coming to Netflix soon. We will update once a release date is available.