Lupita Nyong’o Captures Her Struggle with Colorism in a Children’s Book


-You were telling me,
because I was like, “Us” is the scariest thing
I’ve ever seen ever. -Yeah.
-You do that movie and I go, how do you keep it light on set?
-Oh. Okay, so Winston Duke was like
the king of dad jokes. [ Laughter ]
And so he would tell these awful, awful dad jokes,
and then Shahadi, who played my daughter, she had
quite a respectable cannon. Hers were always
a little more funny. And Evan was lame, too.
[ Laughter ] And so —
But I had nothing to share. So what I’d do to unwind
in the evening, after a day of shooting, is I would scour the Internet
for dad jokes. And I would save them
on my phone, and then, like, refer to them
while we were on set. And be like, “Oh, oh, I just
came up with this one.” [ Laughter ] Do you have a favorite dad joke?
What’s a good one? -Okay. Did you hear about
the kidnapping in the park? -No. -He was very tired. [ Laughter ] ♪♪ -Oh, kid napping! Kid napping.
-Yes. -That’s a good one. I’m trying
to think if I have one. -Okay.
-Okay, I think I have one. What’s Harry Potter’s favorite
way to go down a hill? -Um, what?
-Walking. [ Light laughter ] J.K. “Rowling.” [Rolling]
-Oh, my God. [ laughter and applause ]
-Come on. That’s pretty good, right? That’s all right. It gets there. It’s a two step.
You usually leave the room, you go, “Walking.” And then
you come back and go, J.K. Rowling!
[ Laughter ] Let’s talk about this book,
by the way. -Yes.
-I loved it, by the way. It is fantastic. “Sulwe.”
Tell me what this is about. It’s basically about you, right?
-Yeah, it’s a liberal autobiography,
really. It’s about this girl called
Sulwe. “Sulwe” means star
in my mother tongue, Luo. And she’s born the darkest
in her family and the darkest in her school. And she’s very uncomfortable
with her skin and wants to go about
changing it. But then, a magical night
through the night sky changes her mind, and she learns
how to love herself. [ Audience awws ] -It’s beautiful.
It’s a beautiful story. [ Applause ] Did you do what
this girl does, too? I mean, she tries to eat lighter
foods, to change her skin color? -Yeah, yeah. My thing —
I gave a speech at the “Essence” women in
Hollywood back in 2014 about my journey with dealing
with colorism and prejudice and all that. One of the things I spoke about
was, I would pray to God every night for lighter skin, because my mom told me
God performs miracles. So, I thought,
“Oh, well, here’s one for me. Give me some light skin.” I had a younger sister
who was much lighter. And so every morning I would
wake up and run to the mirror and see whether
he answered my prayer. I would always be
so disappointed. That’s one of the things that
Sulwe does in this book. -Yeah. And you think about that. I have kids now, so I am extra
sensitive to bullying, or any of that stuff now. For every kid — not just my
kid, every kid. I think this is such a great
book for everyone to read. If anyone is dealing
with this stuff, just love yourself,
and you’re good. -Yeah! And it’s also for people
who don’t know about colorism to get to know about it. You know, it’s a mirror for dark
skinned girls to see themselves. Specifically because I didn’t
have that growing up. And I wanted to kind of use
the pain that I felt for it to be my weapon, my gift.
You know? But also for other people
who might not know, I hope that this book
is a window into understanding what people that may not be
like you can go through. But ultimately, the message is,
that the most important thing is to love yourself
before anything else. -That’s great. I think you’re gonna change
a lot of lives with it. [ Cheers and applause ]
Lupita Nyong’o, everybody! “Sulwe” is available
for preorder now! “Little Monsters,” by the way.
-Oh, yes. -I didn’t talk about
“Little Monsters.” You’re in another scary movie.
-Yes. -You have to stop making
these scary movies. -This one’s not scary. This
one’s way more funny than scary. It’s got zombies.
It’s got ukuleles. It’s got children.
It’s got animals. -Zombies and ukuleles, I’m sold.
-Yeah. And it’s got terrible language,
so please, it’s not for children,
despite the fact that it has children in it.
-Okay. “Little Monsters”
is out this week.

40 thoughts on “Lupita Nyong’o Captures Her Struggle with Colorism in a Children’s Book

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  2. She is so classy and lovely πŸ–€
    P.S. i know this is random, but I make music & ya girl here needs a chance to make it heard. Listen on my channn. Love! ❌🍎❌

  3. Colorism is a very important issue that must be discussed. Within the black community, it's an issue that keep destroying lives and pushing people, specially black women into bleaching. It's one of the consequences of racism and colonialism. Being Rihanna, Beyonce, Tessa, is easy because they are lighter. Dark skinned black women have it worse. They are considered as ugly, dirty. Lupita is a very beautiful woman and I still remember how the world went bananas when a magazine chose her as the most beautiful woman in the world. She was so attacked by white people. Because it's easier to accept Rihanna or Beyonce, because they are lighter and mixed. But colorism is also and mainly about discrimination within your own ethnic group. Even within black people, there's a preference for lighter skin.

  4. Now see this Kim???….Money can buy some things…but not Brains and Decency and Character to go with it…and oh also…Grace !!!

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