After writing a book for girls about entrepreneurship, we have to ask.
by: Aubrey Gail Ferreira
We wrote this book to address a void, two actually, that we saw in the world of children’s literature. Primarily, we felt that there was a lack of women of color protagonists. Only 12 % of children’s books published in the U.S. last year were by or about people of color and significantly fewer focused on women or girls of color in particular.
We wanted a main character who was daring, curious, imaginative and interested in pursuing her own magical ideas in the center of our narrative.
Too often women of color, should they appear at all, are relegated to the “best friend role” as a figure of represented diversity with no defined or developed uniqueness of her own.
The other void we saw was, we found, a stickier issue.
The idea fell into place one evening as Camalo Gaskin, co-author of the book, was putting her daughter to bed. She had been going to visit various professionals, parents of her classmates, with her school. Now she seemed to be having a panic attack.
Although only 5-years-old, she knew one day she’d have to leave the house and choose a job like ones she’d seen. But none, she felt, suited her. What do people do when they find no place for themselves in the world around them? We found no stories to address this particular anxiety.
You have to invent your place in the world.
We decided we’d have to invent this narrative. Entrepreneur the girl was born, who lived life on her own terms, meeting people, learning lessons, figuring out what made people happy, and also discovering the many ways money is made.
For us, it was simple. To be self-sufficient, a person has to be able to make their own money, which doesn’t mean — we want to show — that they must choose from a list of typical roles in typical structures that don’t excite them.
It can be a creative pursuit.
But as soon as we launched our crowdfunding campaign and the premise for our book, Entrepreneur Finds Her Way, hit the light of Facebook, we realized others did not see it how we did. One woman said that to teach girls about money was “depressing” and “a little evil,” and that our story—which she hadn’t read — was the last thing she would want to expose her daughter to.
She equated any kind of financial pursuit with greed and accused us of wanting to dupe people and exploit the poor.
We were like,
Our hearts sank. These accusations couldn’t be farther from our intentions for this project, we thought. But then we thought, does she have a point?
Is there something wrong with encouraging girls to think about and talk about money? Is money inherently bad?
Seriously, we want to know what you think.
Please comment below. We want your honest opinions.