“Sulwe,” Lupita Nyong’o’s best-selling debut children’s book, will become an animated musical film for Netflix!
“‘Sulwe’ is going to be an animated movie!!,” Nyong’o wrote of the news on Twitter. “Thank you to the readers of all ages who have joined #Sulwe on her starry ride. I’m so excited for this next adventure on Netflix!” The book was released in 2019 and follows a young Black girl named Sulwe, who embarks on a journey and learns that she is beautiful on the outside and the inside. Illustrations were handled by Vashti Harrison, who also worked on Matthew Cherry’s “Hair Love.”
In late 2020, Nyong’o read “Sulwe” as a part of Bookmarks, Marley Dias’ Netflix series that features celebrities reading books about the Black experience.
Nyong’o will serve as the film’s producer.
“The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart,” Nyong’o said in a press release. “Sulwe is a mirror for dark-skinned children to see themselves, a window for those who may not be familiar with colorism, to have understanding and empathy, and an invitation for all who feel different and unseen to recognize their innate beauty and value. I am thrilled that the book is being adapted into an animated musical that we hope inspires children all around the world to celebrate their uniqueness.”
In the release, she also spoke on her own experiences with colorism. “Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books and magazines, or even on TV.” We’re thrilled that Nyong’o is providing the representation that Black girls need.
When Nyong’o was honored at ESSENCE’s 2014 Black Women in Hollywood event, she shared a passionate speech about Black beauty, which instantly went viral.
We’re excited for Lupita, honored that ESSENCE is a part of the ‘Sulwe’ journey and can’t wait to see the film!