Rolling Out

Charmaine Bey is speaking life into Nubian kings and queens in new book

The reality tv star is shining a light on Black children

Charmaine Bey is an entrepreneur, radio personality and reality TV star. Bey chooses a family-oriented approach to everything she does and shares positive images of a Black-loving family on social media with her husband and two daughters, Nola and Charli Bey. Though the Bey family is protected by a lot of love, her daughters’ looks have always been a topic of discussion.

People have questioned their features from the color of their eyes, their light complexions, and Nola’s red hair. Negative comments toward her daughters at their young age motivated Bey to prepare them and any other children in similar situations for unwarranted opinions and negativity as they grow up. Ultimately, Bey came to write a children’s book, Nubians Come in All Shades, to help explain the nuances of beauty.

Tell us about your book.

It’s about not having to feel like you have to give an explanation of what your features are as a Brown-skinned individual. African Americans know that our history is very weary in America of how we came over here, and slavery as a whole. Because of slavery, our future generations have different features than what we would expect them to have to be people of melanin. In a community of melanated people, we are sometimes our worst enemy. When I have my children, it is my own people who want to know who the dad was because my kids came out a lighter shade than what people expected.

Our children should not have to give an explanation of where they get their eyes from, why they have these eyes and their parents don’t, or where do you get their hair color from. So instead of isolating and dividing over people having different tones and different features, let’s come together and understand that newborns come in all shapes. That’s why I wrote this children’s book.

What does being a Nubian mean to you?

That means that I am rich in my bloodline, no matter even if you don’t know how far, even if you can’t trace your family too far back. I know I’m reaching my bloodline. I know I’m rich and confident. I know that I put out my best self. I think being a Nubian is claiming royalty to understand that before slavery, we were kings and queens. I want to re-establish the feeling that knowing what a Nubian means to me and I want to reestablish that in our children. You are a Nubian, you come from a rich bloodline. Don’t let the world today make you feel any less than you are. Don’t make the world today make you feel like you have to explain who you are and why you look the way you look. Nubians come in all shades, and that’s very simple.

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