LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — In Demia Doggette’s Lake Worth Beach home, it’s important for all colors to be celebrated.
But sometimes tough conversations with her oldest child Noa, come first.
Doggette said one such conversation started with an innocent question from her daughter.
“She came up to me one day and she had my makeup and she put it on and it wasn’t quite the same color as her and she said,'Mommy, why is your skin dark and my skin is light?'”
Doggette saw the opportunity for a teaching moment. The lesson? Your hue doesn’t determine who you are.
“In that moment, I was like you know I want to take this a step further. I really want to create an illustrative journey to just show her, not just my daughter, but to show her all the different colors and hues of people and children out there just how beautiful they are,” said Doggette.
It sparked the idea for Doggette’s latest project, “The Chronicles of a Girl Named Noa: My Glorious Skin.” With its release she joined the ranks of authors writing about their communities.
“I would say the biggest takeaway is not just to see the beauty in herself but to see the beauty in everyone there’s a mosaic of different colors," said Doggette. "We’re in America, so there’s so many different skin tones of prior that are out there.”
Children’s books written about racially diverse characters grew to 30% in 2020 according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Doggette said the books reception after its release on Amazon was nothing short of wonderful.
“On our launch day, within five hours, we went to number one on Amazon," she said. "So, to not just have our family receive this and love this but the community abroad to just be like, we understand, we get it, we’re there too, it has been phenomenal.”
Her husband said he’s grateful for her message and hopes it reaches others much like how stories did in his family growing up.
“My grandfather,” said James Doggette Jr. “… he was actually in Memphis during the time MLK was shot and had as a pastor crosses burning on his property from the KKK. So, they have their stories and experiences and all of the work that they’ve done to kind of help produce progress, and push us along in this country. It’s a work that’s not finished and I’ve always felt that burning desire to pick up the torch and keep pushing towards progress.”
Moving forward, Doggette said she hopes her book leaves a lasting impact on future generations including her own.
“I hope that my newest one, who will be here in April, I’m hoping that he is born into a world where he feels included where he doesn’t have to ask for a seat at the table,” she said.
A seat and a voice for everyone.
You can find copies of the book here.