You Are Beautiful is one of the first Islamic story books published here at Mindworks. Written by Author Robyn Abdusamad, the book introduces the characters Zaynab and Zakiyyah, two sisters who experience their first encounter with racial prejudice and who are saddened by what they hear. Throughout the course of the story they realize the beauty of ethnic diversity, community and true friendship. This book highlights the importance of countering ignorance with knowledge and kindness. In honor of Black History Month, we share this book with you and hope that you will share it with the ones you care about!
An excerpt from You Are Beautiful:
The next day, Zaynab and Zakiyyah were sitting on their porch when their friends, Adam, Yasu and Kelly joined them.
They exchanged greetings and Adam said, “I’m sorry for what I said yesterday about African-American people. I told my parents what I said and they told me that it wasn’t nice for me to say that to my friends.”
“It is okay,” Zaynab replied. “There’s nothing wrong with talking about our differences.”
“Yeah,” Yasu agreed, “We can all learn and grow from our differences.”
“That’s true, Yasu,” Zakiyyah responded. “God created a rainbow of people and He loves all of us equally.”
As the children continued their talk on the porch, Grandma Ernestine, an elderly lady from the neighborhood who was often peeping out of her window to keep an eye on the children, decided to join them.
“My beautiful children, I have enjoyed listening to your conversation. You are so wise at such young ages,” she said.
“There is a history of African-American people having been treated unfairly in this society, and this continues today, but African American people are beautiful just like people of any other race.”
Grandma Ernestine continued, “African- American people have a very rich heritage. Some of our ancestors were kings and queens.”
Yasu eagerly stated, “Yes, like King Mansa Musa and Queen Amina.”
“Yes,” Grandma Ernestine replied and nodded. “African Americans have also made major contributions to this society.”
Kelly politely interrupted to insert, “Like the creation of refrigeration systems, traffic lights, clocks and many other household appliances.”
“Yes,” Grandma Ernestine chuckled in agreement.
“I think the important thing is to embrace who you are and to get to know and understand others too,” Yasu declared.
“That is it,” Grandma Ernestine replied as she left the children to go for a walk.
“You know what would be cool?” Adam suggested as the others listened with anticipation. “We should have a family dinner with all of our families together.”
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