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Author Barbara Solomon aims to empower Black youth and bring balance to Black History with animated book series

Barbara-SolomonAuthor Barbara Solomon aims to empower Black youth and bring balance to Black History with animated book series

Solomon to host Book Event and Presentation at Fort Lauderdale’s African-American Research Library and Cultural Center

      FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — Over the past few weeks, there has been a rash of commentary surrounding the resurgence of “slave stories” in the mainstream media, from the WGN America series Underground to the remake of Roots, which airs on the History Channel. Public figures, including rapper Snoop Dogg and others have openly expressed their frustration with the constant depiction of Black people as slaves, with Snoop even calling for a boycott. They believe it is time for more positive images.

Echoing those sentiments is children’s author Barbara Solomon. Known for her animated, educational Princess Kamala book series, Solomon is on a mission to educate, empower and instill a sense of pride in Black youth by exposing them to a well-rounded view of Black history, including from the perspective of warriors, kings and queens. She will host a book signing, reading and presentation at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center on July 30th at 1 p.m.

While exposing children to Roots is important, to her, balance is key to the discussion of the Black experience.

“The history we are learning about is a history of victimization,” Solomon said.  “It is based on us being victimized by a stronger culture, pulled out of our homeland and being brought in as slaves. We know nothing about ourselves before that. While slavery is true, there is a culture and a development of culture and a history of civilization. We can’t just go back to Egypt, but go back to Kush, go back to Mali and the Sudanese state.”

Solomon, who is based in Palm Coast, Fla., is the founder of Adzua Arts and for many years has dedicated her life to studying African history and educating people on everything from the etwie drum of Ghana to the Baobab tree. She travels the country to do book signings, readings and to present before various audiences.

Stories like The Frog Who Could Not Jump center on the importance of meeting challenges head-on and believing in one’s self to achieve goals. Another, Princess Kamala – The Lost Boy, is dedicated to Trayvon Martin and explores human emotions such as frustration, depression, anger, disappointment and also the importance of sharing. One book is dedicated to President Barack Obama. Each of them has important messages and reveals information about African culture that is typically omitted from the history books and television screens.

“I have to write something for my children, OUR children, so they can understand who they are,” she said. “They must know where they came from to know where they are going.”

Solomon emphasizes that while her books offer historical context, the actual stories are fictional. Still, it is important to show examples of Black power, brilliance and positivity, similar to how whites are portrayed and promoted in mainstream books and films. Both she and Snoop Dogg can agree on that.

“Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel weren’t real, but they were taken from the culture at that time,” Solomon said. “We have to start talking to our kids about our history. I would really like to see a movie about that period where Africans were in control. A movie with a story of what the people did, how they solved their problems. Never mind Game of Thrones. Give me King of Thrones.”

Solomon will present and share her books at 1 p.m., at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311. To learn more about her work, visit www.adzuaarts.com. Barbara’s books are available on Xulonpress.com and Amazon.com.

To schedule an interview with Barbara Solomon, contact Ivan Thomas at (202) 904-4790 or intriguemg@gmail.com.

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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