FLINT, Michigan -- Seeing the lack of representation in children’s educational resources, Flint native Teresa Baker was motivated to begin a project that would allow students of color to see themselves reflected in education.
This project would ultimately turn into the blueprint for Brown Boy Brown Girl, a multimedia publishing company rooted in uplifting and empowering students of color in reading and education resources.
“We're trying to normalize children being able to see positive images of characters of color in books and diversifying educational materials,” said Baker.
Brown Boy Brown Girl is a family owned business rooted in Baker’s experiences and those of her own children.
“My daughter realizes that there are not always a lot of brown people in her school or in her classroom so when she saw the illustration on the notebook, she was so excited. She's like, mom, that girl looks just like me!” Baker said she hopes the notebooks invoke the same feeling her daughter felt in children of color.
Baker said that now more than ever, the Brown Boy Brown Girl message is important to share with children who are watching the events happening across the nation in relation to racial justice and systemic racism and inequity.
Considering the social-political climate, Baker shared that she is inspired to help children see themselves in a positive light while encouraging them to pursue entrepreneurship in literature through the Brown Boy Brown Girl brand.
To further promote youth entrepreneurship, Brown Boy Brown Girl works alongside the families of children’s authors across Michigan to help publish, promote, and sell their books. The company currently has five children’s books advertised and ready for purchase. The company also offers a wide range of support services for up-and-coming authors and families interested in entrepreneurship but are not sure how to to get started.
Because of Baker’s strong ties to the Flint community, she has led and participated in several community service activities like speaking to classrooms and hosting publishing workshops for the community. In 2017, Brown Boy Brown Girl also partnered with Christ Enrichment Center to donate roughly 1,300 new and gently used children’s books to promote literacy for families in need.
Brown Boy Brown Girl will also be hosting The Junior CEO, a virtual entrepreneurship conference this spring that will teach students and families how to set up viable businesses and sustain them. The conference will feature sessions and lectures with thriving young professionals, attorneys and children entrepreneurs
“I am targeting Flint because I believe if you empower a kid, you empower a family,” said Baker.
For more information about the entrepreneurship conference visit Brown Boy Brown Girl on Facebook. Merchandise and publishing information can be found on the Brown Boy Brown Girl website.