Lupita Nyong’o is writing a children’s book about the beauty of dark skin

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is writing a children's picture book about "colorism," a term for favorable treatment given to people with lighter skin, based on her own childhood.

Her debut book, “Sulwe,” is due January 2019, according to the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.         

Nyong’o, who grew up in Kenya, won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave.”

First-time author Lupita Nyong'o.

Sulwe is a 5-year-old girl from Kenya coming to terms with her dark skin. Nyong’o, 34, said in a statement the book would draw on her own experiences of being “taunted” about her skin.         

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Sulwe is darker than anyone in her family or her class, and is determined to find a way to lighten her skin. Then her mother shows her where her beauty lies.         

“As a child, much like Sulwe, I was teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin,” Nyong’o said in a statement. “It made me feel unbeautiful, unaccepted, and impacted my confidence. It is painful to see that the preference for light skin prevails. My goal in writing “Sulwe” is to provide young children with a path toward seeing their own beauty, regardless of what society tells them.”         

Nyong’o appears in Marvel's “Black Panther,” due in theaters next month. 

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