That melanin magic
The diversity of toys and materials is getting better and better. Last week we saw a new wave of black dolls, and this week we heard about a book that puts a black girl front and centre as the hero in a modern fairy tale.
Titled The Girl Without a Sound, it was written by local actress Buhle Ngaba and celebrates the beauty of black girls. She describes the text as a rebellious response to all the fairy tales “about white princesses with blue eyes, long flowing locks of hair and an eery awareness of their beauty”.
The character in Ngaba’s book is different – she’s “a little girl with a fluff of hair, a mouth the shape of a cherry blossom and brown pools for eyes”.
What’s even better is that the book is accessible for free download as a PDF.
The author regards The Girl Without a Sound as a “healing balm” to what she feels every time “the black female body is
dismissed or violated in a white, patriarchal and racist society”. “As an act of restoring power and agency to the young black girl in South Africa, I wrote a story about a voiceless girl of colour in search of a sound of her own.”
The book will be made available in hard copy at a later stage and a Setswana version called Mosetsana A Didimetseng will be distributed in North West.
In coming months Ngaba aims to auction A3 prints of the photos in the book to encourage a campaign to supply feminine hygiene products to young girls who miss up to 50 days of school a year while on their periods. Everything will be done under the banner of her not-for-profit organisation KaMatla Productions. – Amanda Sono
MAKING THE RIGHT NOISES The Girl Without a Sound