If you will, come along with me on a journey in our minds. Let’s go back in time for a little while. Imagine yourself in grade school again. You’re in art class and you’re using crayons to color at a table along with some other classmates. Someone says, “Please hand me the skin color crayon.” Everyone at the table knew the classmate was talking about the peach color crayon.
Everyone, that is, except one child. This child felt confused by peach being known as the skin color crayon. The child went home that evening and asked her mother why that was the case. Her mother suggested that she pass the brown crayon to her classmates instead. However, the student used an alternative method. She decided to ask her classmates which color they wanted.
Her teacher heard her ask the question, and she started asking the same question. Other teachers and students heard the question, and they started asking students in other classrooms the question. Soon the question was being asked in other districts. And, before she knew it, this young student had started a social movement.
Her name is Bellen Woodard and at the ripe old age of 8, she started the More than Peach social movement. But this young activist did not stop there. She used money she earned from professional modeling to start her own crayon company that featured skin color crayons of different shades of brown. She also wrote a book about more than peach. So, now, at the age of 11, she is an activist, an author, and the CEO of her own crayon company. You can read all about this remarkable girl here.
She can be an inspiration to anyone who is interested in creating an inclusive environment for all. Bellen’s story was told as part of Black History Month’s celebration of notable and influential Black Americans. At such a young age, she has already earned her place in history.
By Paulette Tiggs