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Welcome!

I started this blog quite selfishly and yet not.
I had just become a new mum and I needed a space to air out my thoughts.
I’ve never doubted the strength of Womankind but I never could have imagined how motherhood could be challenging and wonderful in its unique way.
There were just so many things that we never talk about or shared… from stretchmarks, to morning sickness, or attachments and hair loss...
I felt like i entered a brand new space where I was expected to know exactly what to do..when really I hadn’t a clue
I decided to blog as therapy, and so I happily receive your comments of support and understanding, annoyance and mockery.
It’s all welcome!
Thank you for joining me on this journey with me, and more importantly do share it with a woman you know.
I recently decided to write childrens books with a particular focus on increasing representation in books.
I would like to play my part building up the self esteem of a new generation of children.
Thanks for Reading!

Emily

Summer 2018 - Let's Swim!

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Summer 2018 record heatwaves in Sweden Our country is built for snow storms and subzero temperatures there are no AC units in our homes or proper air ventilation but what we do have is water there are splash pools in every neighborhood, lakes, ponds, beaches, in every direction
so, for me the answer was simple we are home for the summer for 4 weeks  so we head to the water to cool off with endless swimming.
Here is the thing though.. I am 34 and I still cannot swim.  I know that there is the stereotype that black people can’t swim, and I hate the fact that my existence reinforces it.
I’ve never been afraid of the water, my bigger cousins tell me the story of when I was little and they had to jump in  to rescue me from the pool because I told everyone I could swim and jumped fearlessly in.
I lived for 10years of my life a 15 min walk from the beaches in Banjul, and still nothing.

Hi, My name is Emily

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It's only been a few months and I have already learnt and shared so much with you all,
I love receiving your comments and questions, I love feeling connected to a world around a shared purpose.

I realize most of you are curious about me and so I thought I would do a little introduction this week;
Hi, I'm Emily
I am not a child psychologist ha!😉 ( the most asked question so far)
In fact there are many things that I am not, so, I think it may be best to go the other way around.

am a mother,
I am obsessed with parenting and nurturing, not just my children but our collective global, social family.
I am exhausted, most of the time. Like so many #momentrepreneurs globally, driving our own movement. 
I am working almost full-time, studying part-time, starting my own business, on top of general family and household stuff 
I am an academic. I have studied ancient history, social anthropology, education and international development. I am currently doing my PhD on diversity in children's lit…

Princesses we can be proud of..

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In this world of ours, quite a few parents, just like me are trying to raise our children away from traditional gender stereotypes,
Away from limitations and boundaries.
So that childhood is free of preconceptions and assumptions.

In our house this extends to colors, toys, books, chores, games , everything really.
I’ll tell you what the hardest one to tackle is though.. its Princess culture.
When you have a little girl, she is bombarded by gifts, adverts, friends, radio, television into this enticing world of pretty pink dollies, often blond, often skinny, even more often in distress, waiting for a prince of some sort for rescuing..

Thankfully the world is changing, very very very slowly we are getting dolls that represent people in actual society, with hips, tall , short, different skin tones. Even Disney movies are moving away from this old stereotype and we have characters like Princess Merida from Brave, who is truly independent in her actions and her story .

We also love Mulan…

Partial Stories

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This post is not about children’s literature per say
But I promise, it is related

Yesterday I had a light bulb moment
I realized why it was so important and easy for me to make the decision to start writing books for my children.
And here is why..

More than 10years ago I started my Bachelor’s Degree in Ancient History and Social Anthropology at the University College London (UCL) in the UK.
It’s a great university for that subject and I was bouncing off the wall with excitement.
In those three years I learnt something important about academia.
History was defined as whatever happened to the romanticized ancient world of Greece, Rome, the UK and maybe the rest of Europe sometimes.
The rest of the world didn’t matter, never did anything, barely existed and therefore could not have contributed to anything of significance.

I was so frustrated in every single class and questioned my lecturers constantly.
I was told that if I wanted to know about Africans there would be a module on ‘slave…

Sannu Book Release

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One of the fun things I get to do apart from work and family life,
is to be a part of a voluntary organisation called Mer BarnKultur.
The swedish organisation aims to

- promote the provision of children’s culture with a modern African-Swedish perspective
- support and publish children’s books with a modern African-Swedish perspective
- and thereby create role models and work against Afrophobia in society

and I am lucky enough to sit on the board!

so last week, on behalf of MeR barnkultur I attended the book release for 'Sannu', a beautiful poetry compilation by Mariama Jobe.
Mariama won the title of 'Örtens Poet', in 2016, aged 20 and continues to evoke and provoke through her words and eloquence.

It was an unconcentional event,
more intimate and moving
And here is my review: 
Sannu exceeds all expectationIt is a poetry book of love, of strength, of girlhoodIt is the story of us.Mariam Jobe, penned down intimate words which reflect the lives we live as people from t…

Reading with Purpose

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In our house we read because that’s the way it has always been
I come from a long line of educators and my mum raised us with love and books
I remember as a child she brought a carpenter into our room to build a book shelf the length of the longest wall
that bookshelf was filled with all sort of books from one end to another.

so, when I had kids of my own,
I filled their room with books, simply to nurture the love of reading.
It was only later that I found purpose in reading with my children.

For one, it gives us that alone time, after sometimes very long and busy days
but mostly because it lets me share something on my mind with the little one
AND it also provides us a starting point for a conversation on a number of topics.

My daughter is now 4 and so it is only normal that she is noticing and trying to understand the world she is in.
when I talk about this, I am often told "it is just a phase, it will pass."
Actually, it is natural human development and we as adults shoul…

Why are you brown?

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We love Todd Parr books!

They are great for most ages
and show characters in rainbow colors
For us it seems like a great starting point to discuss other things
My kids like most kids, do see color and difference and reflect on it




A few years ago, I was teaching kids aged 3 to 5.
One of the questions I often got was; ‘why are you brown’?
It may come across as a weird question but it isn’t really given my Swedish context
For most of the adults around, I could feel their discomfort, it felt like warning bells were sounding off ..race related discussion coming up, oh oh.
I personally have no issue discussing the concept of race or ethnicity as social constructs , but I realized that:


A. Most people are uncomfortable discussing it

B. As a teacher I felt it was not a welcome discussion either

C. It is important to discuss at the right age level


I reflected on this for quite a while and still do…. If we teach about respecting nature, we talk about why the grass is green, why some peopl…