Do you remember the book “Amazing Grace” by Mary Hoffman?
You probably remember it being read to you as a child, but now that you are older, after rereading it, you will realize that it is basically a how-to guide for little black girls on harnessing their #BlackGirlMagic, slaying, and dealing with naysayers who try to put black women in boxes.
The story basically goes like this:
Grace is a little black girl who loves the stories her grandmother tells her. She loves them so much that she uses her imagination to act out all the parts at home creating amazing DIY costumes and getting into full character. When her teacher announces that the class is going to perform Peter Pan as a play, Grace already knows that this role of Peter Pan was meant for her and she is 100% ready to be the star.
Her classmates however are straight haters. One boy named Raj tells her she can’t be Peter Pan because Peter Pan is a boy. Another girl named Natalie tells Grace that she can’t be Peter Pan because she isn’t white. Like really these kids won’t let Grace live. They are trying to stop her from being great.
Grace goes home with tears in her eyes and tells her mom and grandma that she wants to play Peter Pan but that her classmates say she can’t because she isn’t a boy and she’s not white. This is where her grandma jumps in and turns this sad situation into a teachable moment.
The grandma takes Grace to a big theater where Romeo and Juliet is being performed as a ballet. It turns out that the woman who is leading as Juliet is a stunning black woman. Grace and her grandma stand outside of the theater starring up at a giant poster of this Black Juliet in all of her glory.
After the ballet, Grace goes home and dances around in her imaginary tutu as if she was Juliet. “I can be anything I want she screams.”
Grace goes to school on Monday and gets to the audition, slaying it in a way that can only be likened to that time on Fresh Prince when Aunt Viv joins the dance class and is told by the younger students that she can’t keep up because she is to old.[See Below]
Grace does so well that the class unanimously votes for her to play Peter Pan. Even the haters Raj and Natalie are blown away and they congratulate her. (Cue: ‘Where Ya At’ by Drake and Future)
When it comes to the actual performance, Grace…KILLS IT. She looks amazing and is basically the best Peter Pan ever. After recieving her congratulations from the crowd she says “I feel as if I could fly all the way home.” Her mom says “You probably could” and her grandma says “Yes, if grace puts her mind to it she can do anything she wants.”
Do you remember this book?
Share this post if you remember reading it as a child and think more people should read it to their kids!
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