Posted on February 7, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Teacher Alicia D. Williams followed the Toni Morrison playbook for her first novel.

Williams watched kindergartners from a wide variety of ethnicities ignore the darkest-toned crayons and depict themselves as lighter-skinned than they were in reality ... even when they had a multicultural box of crayons in front of them.

In truth, it wasn’t shocking, though.

She tells Ari Shapiro that she’s watched the same skin-prejudice phenomenon within the black community for years.

She’s seen it in her own family — heck, she’s lived it.

So Williams put that struggle in her novel, Genesis Begins Again, which stars a thirteen-year-old African-American girl who envies smooth hair and light skin.

She discussed her inspiration and hopes for the book on All Things Considered, which you can listen to below (or read as a transcript on NPR’s website).

Categories: Author Interview

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