A new children’s book dedicated to Black boys is making big waves among top male celebrities. Titled I’m A Brilliant Little Black Boy! the book was written by 19-year-old Joshua B. Drummond. His mother, Betty K. Bynum, co-wrote the book, which serves as a follow-up to her 2013 critically acclaimed story for Black girls called I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl!
A Kickstarter campaign was initially launched in October 2015. Now, the book is available for pre-order online from Dream I Am publishing. It follows Joshua, who goes on adventures with his friends using his imagination and items such as a red superhero cape and a telescope. The story is not Drummond’s first. He has written award-winning stories since 2nd grade, including a science fiction/adventure novel, according to the publisher’s website.
Drummond says in a press release he was moved to create the project based on the lack of animated Black male youth on kids TV shows.
“I would watch Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Every once in a while, there would be that one Black character within the friend group,” Drummond said. “But for my age, there was never a whole group of just boys, like cool Black kids for the cartoons in particular.”
Bynum’s involvement stems from the numerous requests she received to create a story like Pretty Little Black Girl for Black boys.
“We need great books for our Black boys,” Bynum said in a press release. “There is a huge void on the shelves for books without Black boys at the center of the story. And that truly matters, that they see themselves in a happy, joyful a colorful way. They will believe what they see. Black books matter, and they matter to our society and world, as a whole.”
In conjunction with the book’s release, Drummond launched the #Bbrilliant social media campaign and many Black celebrity men have voiced their support. A promotional video shows singer-musician Raphael Saadiq, rapper Drumma Boy, actors Michael Ealy, Blair Underwood and Samuel L. Jackson urging viewers to “be brilliant.”
The latter of the group gave Brilliant Little Black Boy a shout out on Twitter May 31.
My man, Warren's, Wife & Son on the publishing tip!! Jump on This!!! pic.twitter.com/yuli4qHw2X
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) May 31, 2016
Watch the celebrity-packed #Bbrilliant promotional video below.