Representation Matters: Author Highlights Black Children in Educational Series

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Incorporating American Sign Language, Author Kentrell Martin’s Shelly’s Adventure Series is changing the way little Black children see themselves and the world.

Author Kentrell Martin with “Shelly”

“Even when I was getting into the right aspect and looking into publishing, I one of the things I’ve always heard was, you know, books with Black characters on the front, don’t sell. And for me, you know, I took that as a challenge,” Martin said.

Martin grew up with an older brother who was deaf. He set out to incorporate American Sign Language in resources for children, using images the main publishing world doesn’t use very often. His life in and around sign language became the foundation for the book series.

“When I first got into it you know a lot of people kind of questioned you know why American Sign Language? What if I don’t know anyone who’s deaf and things like that. But right now, American Sign Language is one of the fastest growing languages in the United States,” he added.

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