What is your Chocolate Me! story? Everyone has one!
In Chocolate Me! written by Taye Diggs and illustrated by Shane W. Evans, a young boy is teased by the kids in the neighborhood for his darker skin color. The young boy, upset and confused, then inquires to his mom, who tells him that we are all unique in our own way and we should embrace our differences, it’s the thing that makes us all special! Love your chocolate skin, for it is part of you! Chocolate Me! is all about finding your own sweet inside. It is about individuality, positivity and accepting each other’s differences.
In June 2012, I got the chance to do some work with Shane W. Evans, and during that time he asked me, “What is your chocolate me story?”
I wasn’t too sure what to say. I had a life story, sure, but was that what he wanted to hear? Was he asking me if I had read the book or did he just want me to tell him a story about candy? Instead, I pulled from my heart and just said what I felt. A story that encompassed my past, my present, and who I could become. It was a story that had triumphs and failures, compassion and reaction. Little did I know at the time, there was no right or wrong answer. Though through that question, it not only allowed me to do some internal searching, but some relationship searching as well. What is your chocolate me story? It is not a question about the black experience, or even necessarily a question about chocolate. Chocolate Me! is about the human experience and how it connects us all.
Chocolate Me! was Mr. Diggs specific story, but through that idea we can create a movement that showcases a deeper importance, which is that each and every child should get the chance to be heard and supported. Though our Chocolate Me! stories, we can learn more about ourselves and each other. What is your chocolate me story? Because everyone has one!
Shane W. Evans and the Chocolate Me Crew will be hosting “The Double Chocolate Me! Weekend Experience!” Two FREE events in KC for you and your family! Join us for a fun-filled afternoon featuring, music, discussion, poetry, performance, video and much more
Saturday December 7th, 2013 @ 2pm
Plaza Library Branch
Kansas City Truman Forum
RSVP Information Here
Sunday December 8th, 2013 @ 2pm
Nelson Atkins Museum
Nelson Auditorium and Bloch Lobby
Here are also some more great examples of books for young readers that deal with individuality, acceptance, and uniqueness.
What if your Best Friend were Blue? By Vera Kochan, Illustrated by Viviana Garofoli
Some Monsters are Different By David Milgrim
I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl By Betty K. Bynum, Illustrated Claire Armstrong Parod
About the Author
Shaun Teamer is a dreamer and storyteller. He enjoys drawing, reading, animating and shooting videos. Shaun is currently a youth associate at the Kansas City Central Library.