CREDIT: Black Latina Negra Bella / Facebook
Dania V. Peguero is an Afro-Dominican mother and author on a mission.
Latina Magazine recently sat down with Dania Peguero to talk to her about her new bilingual children’s book “Niñas Bellas.” The Afro-Dominican mother and author wrote the book celebrating the diverse melanin found in the Latinx community to start the conversation about skin tone and being Latinx. The first thing that Peguero told Latina is that the book was done in part for her daughter and the importance of empowering her and more girls like her. She admitted that she only has so much control in making sure that her daughter has strong self-confidence before going into the world and after that, that self-confidence needs to stay strong. That’s what led the mother to write a bilingual children’s book all about race, ethnicity and a common bond all Latinxs share: heritage. Oh, and making the book bilingual was no mistake.
“I thought it was important to have this discussion in the Latino community, and I didn’t want language to be a barrier. I don’t want this to just happen in the U.S., but in Latin America as well,” Peguero told Latina. “In my country of origin, the Dominican Republic, colorism is very real. I want parents there to have these conversations with their kids, too. I also wanted it to be multi-generational. You can have a youngster reading the book with their grandparents, who can only read in Spanish. And it’s also a good tool for parents who want their children to be bilingual. It’s easy for them to see and translate and read both languages.”
In the end, Peguero wants little ones to remember one thing about her book: Latinxs are not all the same color and that’s okay.