According to Blood Orange Press, although half of American children under the age of five are of color, only 15% of children’s books published in the U.S. last year featured main characters of color.
That’s why Oakland’s Blood Orange Press, a publishing company run entirely by Janine Macbeth, has the mission to publish children’s stories by and about the communities of color.
Now, Macbeth has launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $95,000 in funding to publish three new titles over the course of next two years.
“When children see themselves, their family, and their community in books, it tells them that reading belongs in their life,” said Macbeth in a press release. “And that can fuel their success for a lifetime.”
The independent publisher’s first book Oh, Oh, Baby Boy! written & illustrated by Macbeth, explored the nuances of modern fatherhood but telling the story of a dad and his newborn. The titles it hopes to publish include One of a Kind, Like Me, which follows a “Latinx” preschooler who doesn’t fit the gender binary; and The Blue Flute, about a young Black girl who finds a magic flute that unlocks the musical nature of the city she lives in.
As of publishing, the Kickstarter had only raised slightly more than 10% of its $95,000 goal. But there are still fifteen days to go. Patrons can choose between personally receiving books as a reward or having books sent to the school, library, or organization of there choice.