Lupita Nyongo


The Star of 12 Years A Slave, Lupita Nyong’o was invited to the  Harris Westminster Sixth Form, London to mentor young women on leadership and the importance of literacy in an event hosted by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Lancôme.

Nyong’o, now a best-selling author, told the BBC she didn’t even like reading when she was young as the books were not about her personality and kind.

She believe books should be about all people, black and white and it should address all concern.

Last year, she released her book ‘Sulwe’  a children’s fiction picture book that addresses colorism in the Black community. It follows the story of a young girl who wishes for her dark skin to be lighter. The story is ultimately about colorism and learning to love oneself, no matter one’s skin tone.

While there, the Kenyan-Mexican actress spoke to the BBC about the importance of literature and her own journey with reading books as a child.

‘I realized that books don’t have to be about White people, they can actually represent all people,’ the actress says describing her complex relationship with literature during childhood.

“When I was growing up I didn’t like reading but I was surrounded by books all ti mes and I did know how to read. But as I grew older I realized that with reading comes comprehension and confidence,” Nyong’o begins. “And I think those are two qualities that are really important as you get into the workforce and try find your place in the world.”

Intermittent snippets show the actress speaking to the young women about the roles reading and studying have played in her professional career when having had to play certain characters with specific capabilities.

Cutting back to the main interview, Nyongo’o continues, “When I was younger, one of the things that didn’t help my dislike of reading was the fact that not a lot of the books that I was reading were relevant to my immediate life, to my immediate world.” She adds that, “I realized that books don’t have to be about White people, they can actually represent all people.”

Towards the end of the interview, Nyong’o says simply, “When you are reading stories that have themes and characters that are relevant to your world, then you’re more likely to stick with [reading] longer because you can see the ways in which it is applicable to your life.”


The cover spotlights Lupita Nyong’o’s most praised role as Red and Adelaide in the horror-thriller, “US”

Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez, Leonardo Dicaprio, Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, amongst others were also mentioned.

New York Times says:

One is “sane” and the other is “evil,” meaning Nyong’o alternates, terrifyingly, between poles of psychological extremity. Sure, that in itself is a feat. But it’s merely the most obvious thing to applaud. The rigor of her achievement is that it won’t stop revealing itself. For the movie’s first third, what she’s doing might seem rather unremarkable. She plays Adelaide Wilson: bright, upper-middle-class and on vacation at her California ranch house with her goofy husband and their two children. Her biggest worry appears to be her teenage daughter’s decision to quit the track team. But you can sense her gathering fear that some terrible event is on its way; it’s dimming her glow as it heightens our anticipation.

The event, of course, is the other Nyong’o. This one is credited as Red and has made her way up from deep underground to Adelaide’s house, on a mission to exterminate the planet’s current inhabitants so that her people — all clones — can take over. As Red, Nyong’o stands with the bearing of certain dictators — crimson jumpsuit, shoulders back, nose up — but moves as if she was reared by Alvin Ailey (if his dancers also carried water in a Japanese teahouse). Red looks prepared to bellow. But Nyong’o makes Red’s voice thin and gasping, the sort of sound that makes you want to call an E.N.T., even as it brings you to the edge of your seat to get closer to her mouth.

Maybe Nyong’o had a pre-existing model for this character. (She has mentioned that Peele prompted her with words like “regal” and “cockroach.”) But I’ve never seen anything like what she’s done here. Just the flick-flick flitting of her hand to command her troops to attack scared a year of my life. The movies are rich with textured villainy. But it’s not villainy that Nyong’o is acting here. It’s having been irrevocably wronged. And the woman who wronged her, decades ago, is 10 feet away, trembling on the sofa.

Visit www.nytimes.com to read more.

Photo Credit@jackdavisonphoto



Source: Bella Naija

When Kheris Rogers was bullied because of her skin color in the first grade, she found strength in affirmations. Her mother helped build her confidence, and Kheris reminded herself daily that the only person’s opinion that mattered was her own.

With that new outlook, the saying that Kheris’ grandmother had been repeating to her and her sister took on a whole new meaning. That’s when Kheris, now 13, decided to start a clothing line dedicated to fighting against colorism and bullying.

“I was like, ‘wow, why am I dark, why don’t I become lighter?’ I wanted to stay in the bathtub one time so I could get lighter,” Kheris said. “When I told my mom about it, she started making me feel more comfortable in myself, saying affirmations in the mirror every day that I’m beautiful [and] it doesn’t matter what other people think of you — only what you think of yourself. You know that you’re smart, creative, special at the end of the day. And that’s basically what my message is behind Flexin’ in My Complexion.”


Kheris said she got the idea for the clothing line because her grandmother constantly told her and her sister that they were “flexing in their complexions.” So, Kheris and her sister Taylor acquired a screen printer and some t-shirts, and started stamping the phrase on clothing. The first batch of shirts, Kheris said, sold out in just 10 minutes. So began Kheris’ journey to being an anti-bullying and anti-colorism advocate.

The line has been worn by celebrities including Alicia Keys to Lupita Nyong’o, and has won Kheris honors like being named one of Teen Vogue’s21 Under 21 class of 2018, and being chosen to participate in a Lebron James campaign for Nike.

Now, Kheris has taken her message beyond the clothing line, going to speaking engagements and sharing her story with her peers on social media. This, she said, helps show other young people experiencing bullying, racism, or colorism that they aren’t alone. One way she helps her peers sturdy themselves against the words of their bullies is the same way she overcame her own detractors: with affirmations.

With so many young people becoming advocates not just for themselves but for their peers, Kheris said she has hope that the future will be ripe with confident young people like her.

“My vision for the future is everyone being themselves and loving themselves on the inside and out,” she said. “I just love my complexion, I love who I am — and everyone should.”



Culled from Teen Vogue

Lupita Nyong’o spoke to BBC Newsnight about being a “victim of colourism” as a child and how she “wished to have skin that was different”.

The Oscar-winning actress, who has starred in movies such as Black Panther and 12 Years a Slave,  was raised in Kenya before moving to the United States.

She spoke with BBC Newsnight ahead of the release of her children’s book, Sulwe, about a girl with darker skin than her family.

Lupita told Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis: “I definitely grew up feeling uncomfortable with my skin colour because I felt like the world around me awarded lighter skin.”

She said her younger sister, whose skin was lighter, was called “beautiful” and “pretty”.

“Self-consciously that translates into: ‘I’m not worthy’.”

She said colourism was “very much linked to racism” despite the fact she experienced it in a predominantly black society like Kenya.

“We still ascribe to these notions of Eurocentric standards of beauty, that then effect how we see ourselves among ourselves,” she said.

The actor said she was once told at an audition that she was “too dark” for television.

But Nyong’o said the relationship to her skin had been separate to the relationship to her race, according to BBC.

“Race is a very social construct, one that I didn’t have to ascribe to on a daily basis growing up,” she said. “As much as I was experiencing colourism in Kenya, I wasn’t aware that I belonged to a race called black.”

She said that changed when she moved to the US, “because suddenly the term black was being ascribed to me and it meant certain things that I was not accustomed to.”

Colourism is prejudice against people who have a darker skin tone or the preferential treatment of those who are of the same race but lighter-skinned.




Credit: LIB

Here’s the plot for the book titled “Sulwe”.

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

She shared a post about the book on Twitter:

On the cover of Elle USA November issue, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Angela Bassett are part of the eleven honorees of 2018 as the magazine marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Women in Hollywood.

These black women all played important roles in the hit movie, Black Panther.

Danai Gurira displayed strength in her character in the movie and as Clover Hope Of Elle interviews the trio, Danai speaks on their role in the blockbuster.


Read excerpts from the interview below.

Angela on black female representation in Black Panther:

The women were integral to the storytelling and the wisdom that the main character possessed. It was really important in terms of the representation of black feminine strength.

Danai on her wig-snatching scene:

I loved doing that, from the minute she’s wearing that wig and complaining about it, to the minute she gets rid of it very pragmatically. That spoke to so many things about feminine aesthetics.

Lupita on relating to her character:

Nakia was a departure from the character you see in the comic books. She is an independent woman and a bit of a rebel but also a loyalist to her country. I am also someone who depends on my family and friends and feels a connection to my people, and maybe has a sense of responsibility to make them proud. So I really related to that balancing act within oneself.

Photo Credit: Elle