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A Mom, a Mirror and a Mission

When I was a little girl, I loved watching Saturday morning cartoons and kid shows. My favorites were Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop, The Mickey Mouse Club, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, and Romper Room. I was so excited when the shows began, but by the end, I became very sad. None of the shows had friends that looked like me and “Miss Nancy” on Romper Room, never called my name. As she looked through the “magic mirror” I wondered why she never saw me. I screamed back at the TV, “I’m fun to play with too!”

With the birth of Niya, our firstborn, my husband and I searched high and low to find dolls and books that looked like her and reflected our culture. Authentic African-American dolls and picture books that portrayed positive family relationships were missing on the shelves; the same way I was missing from the Saturday morning kids’ lineup.

I decided at that point that my daughter would see her beauty and brilliance in the books she read, the dolls she played with and the animated children’s shows she watched. I vowed that Niya would see herself as “invaluable” and not “invisible.” My gift to her would be a doll that she could truly call her own. For Moms and Grandmoms who are still searching for that special doll to give your own, look no further, Here Comes Niya!


The friendship that I have with all of my children is by far the strongest place of comfort for me and a source of strength. Children are gifts. We Are Friends is a love note to children that says no matter the shape, size or color, they matter. Congratulations and best wishes with yet another milestone project.

-Lebo M Grammy-Producer, Arranger and Composer, "Voice and spirit of The Lion King."

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