Their son wanted to see more Black book characters, so they created a business to provide them

Their son wanted to see more Black book characters, so they created a business to provide them

When Langston Miller was 8, he’d fill page after page with characters that looked like him, and staple those pages together. He was already thinking about a distribution plan for his books. He wanted to see them in Barnes & Noble.

His mother, Victoria Scott-Miller, arranged an excursion to a local store in Raleigh, N.C., to do market research befitting a curious and determined elementary-schooler.

“Let’s see if we can find five books that represent the type of work that you’re doing and represent you as a little Black boy,” she told him. “And let’s see how long it takes us, because we want people to be able to find your books.”

Two and a half hours later, they found five books — “literally going on a scavenger hunt in the children’s section,” she said.

As Langston, now 9, said in a recent interview, he was looking for books that depicted “how brilliant, handsome, smart and how amazing we [Black boys] are. … In the picture quality, I’m not looking for things that show us with big lips, big bodies, big noses. I’m looking for things that actually represent us, show who we actually are. I’m a brilliant, handsome, intelligent Black boy, just like my brother.” For good measure, he repeated, “And handsome.”

By Cynthia R. Greenlee, Washington Post

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