A strong and exceptional 9-year-old girl named Tiana Akoh-Arrey has written a book to tackle the bullying of young black girls in a school in the United States.
Tiana Akoh-Arrey narrated that she was bullied by some kids in her school for having afro hair and instead of feeling down, she took the chance to showcase her beauty by using her writing skills and soon after, she became a bestselling author.
“One day at school, a kid made fun of my Afro and said that it made me look like a lion,” Tiana recounts.
“That made me really sad, so I asked my mom to straighten my hair to look like my other friends who did not have an Afro. She explained to me that I should learn to be proud and accept my hair as it is because it’s beautiful. I was trying my hand at writing short stories, so I decided to write about my hair,” she added.
According to Ebony, Tiana Akoh-Arrey began writing full sentences at 4 years old. Her mother, Dorothy, explained that after her daughter was bullied in school, she decided to write a story about her hair.
When she read her story, she was so moved by her daughter’s literary work that she had it submitted to Conscious Dreams Publishing, who in turn, made Tiana a published author, at the age of seven.
Since the book was published, she has reportedly sold over 700 copies, which is more than the sales benchmark for a first-time publisher, and is now on Amazon’s bestsellers list.
Speaking about the book titled “My Afro: Twin Best Friends”, Tiana said the story was about her thick hairs. “My Afro: Twin Best Friends is about my experience with my thick, coarse Afro hair while my best friend has silky, straight hair, but we want to look alike for picture day,” she said.
“The story follows my journey as I explore friendship, self-acceptance and identity. Through this, readers can learn how to embrace who they are and celebrate differences in others,” she added.
By providing characters and a scenario many young Black girls can relate to, Tiana hopes to foster a feeling of acceptance and inclusion in them as well as an appreciation for the value of their own experiences and viewpoints.
“I am really proud of myself, and it has confirmed the assurance my mom gave me that bullying is never about me but the bully trying to express their dissatisfaction in seeing someone different and trying to make others feel small,” Tiana said.
“I am happy I have managed to not feel small but also helped other girls to have the courage of wearing their Afro hair in all shapes and styles without feeling embarrassed about their hair or caring what people say. I feel like I have been empowered and also empowered others,” she added.