Sanford teacher empowering young girls of color through inspirational book series

A local teacher wants to empower Black and Brown girls.It’s all about giving them positive images of themselves and praising their beauty and individuality. “Can anybody tell me what ‘description’ means or what you think it means?” Shakera Akins asks.Akins teaches intensive reading at Sanford Middle School.Inspired by some of her former students, she put pen to paper and created “The Little Brown Girl Experience.” “They would have problems with how their hair looked, how their skin looked, some even had problems with body image and I said this sounds just like me when I was a girl,” Akins said. She had questions as a child and so does Zuri, the character in the book. “Mommy, why is my hair not straight?” Akins read from the book. Akins addresses a lot of issues young Black and Brown girls face taking readers from kindergarten through college. “Because they get so influenced by what they see on TikTok or Instagram that they do not have anything positive to look at . Just look in the mirror and see that they’ve fine just the way they are, ”Akins said.Things people say can be hurtful. We both heard this too many times. “For a dark-skinned girl, you’re really pretty and I’m like well, what does that mean?” Akins said.Her illustrations are filled with students, family and friends and they come in all sizes, shades and hues. “Some of us are biracial and sometimes that can be an issue too, or you’re not Black enough, or you ‘ re too white, ”Akins said.“ And sometimes that pressure can get overwhelming and our girls need someone to talk to, so that’s why I made the book interactive so you can jot down your thoughts, ”Akins said.Akins also mentors young girls . She’s created a second book that deals with bullying.It’s all to promote positive images: You are beautiful and worthy. “I hope it sheds light to see us from a different perspective and not be so judgmental based on how we look,” Akins said. “The Little Brown Girl Experience” is part of a book series. You can find them on Amazon.

A local teacher wants to empower Black and Brown girls.

It’s all about giving them positive images of themselves and praising their beauty and individuality.

“Can anybody tell me what ‘description’ means or what you think it means?” Shakera Akins asks.

Akins teaches intensive reading at Sanford Middle School.

Inspired by some of her former students, she put pen to paper and created “The Little Brown Girl Experience.”

“They would have problems with how their hair looked, how their skin looked, some even had problems with body image and I said this sounds just like me when I was a girl,” Akins said.

She had questions as a child and so does Zuri, the character in the book.

“Mommy, why is my hair not straight?” Akins read from the book.

Akins addresses a lot of issues young Black and Brown girls face taking readers from kindergarten through college.

“Because they get so influenced by what they see on TikTok or Instagram that they do not have anything positive to look at. Just look in the mirror and see that they’ve fine just the way they are,” Akins said.

Things people say can be hurtful. We both heard this too many times.

“For a dark-skinned girl, you’re really pretty and I’m like well, what does that mean?” Akins said.

Her illustrations are filled with students, family and friends and they come in all sizes, shades and hues.

“Some of us are biracial and sometimes that can be an issue too, or you’re not Black enough, or you’re too white,” Akins said.

“And sometimes that pressure can get overwhelming and our girls need someone to talk to, so that’s why I made the book interactive so you can jot down your thoughts,” Akins said.

Akins also mentors young girls. She’s created a second book that deals with bullying.

It’s all to promote positive images: You are beautiful and worthy.

“I hope it sheds light to see us from a different perspective and not be so judgmental based on how we look,” Akins said.

“The Little Brown Girl Experience” is part of a book series. You can find them on Amazon.

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