Anna Nyakana — Creating Hues of Representation in the Pixels

AN ODE TO MY YOUNGER SELF: Lift your chin, straighten your back, walk with purpose; each step more firm than the lack. Forget their painful remarks, about your hair and your tones, but take a seat towards the front in case before the next stop they throw stones. As you stare through the window’s reflection, you may question if you’re perfection, if their words are in fact true. For you failed the comb test, so could that contradict the benevolence of you? The daily search for faces similar to your own in literature’s printed spaces set to educate have left your backpack light, yet again. Unbeknownst to you, this lack of weight has planted the seed that will germinate into your destiny to empower all girls and women. Lift your chin, straighten your back, walk with purpose; each step more firm than the lack.

Two channels click in sequence as you turn the dial, aluminum foil to strengthen the signal as the static begins another circadian trail. Characters of animals and boys that are blue, dance across the screen with no representation of you. The technicolor lights flash into your pupil, creating an ocular messaging to the mind that your hue’s acknowledgement to the World is a strategic refusal. As you sit there in compromise, realize what’s hidden in the apparent, see, apparently, our Glory is the essential key to unlocking the mind from captivity. Lift your chin, straighten your back, walk with purpose; each step more firm than the lack.

As you blink in search for our narratives to manifest in response don’t convert Truth into nonchalance. In fact, pull your curls from your eyes so you can see it clearly, the blatant exclusion, pollution of delusion. Remember this moment for the orbits to come, create an anchor in the deepest chambers, kiln of the hottest embers, where your LifeSpark resides ablaze, your melanated essence appraise. For we are pixelated matter in a rubics cube equation and you have been chosen to solve the moves for Our color pervasion. Lift your chin, straighten your back, walk with purpose; each step more firm than the lack.

Children of Color should see a reflection of themselves in the stories and digital content they read and see; my mission is to inspire them one adventure at a time. They should know of their rich history beyond plantations and concrete housing foundations and girls need to discover the heroine within and use their greatest treasure (their minds); our youth are limitless and are worthy of fulfilling their own destinies. If only someone had made the time to motivate me and the children in my neighborhood in order to understand that we were boundless and could achieve anything regardless of our zip code. With that said, Our Hue should be represented in all programming and literature; I decided to change the narrative and work towards this mission every day. I have experienced a multitude of multiplicity in my lifetime and have created my own path against a sea of “No’s” for I can’t let any child nor the younger version of me down. Building upon my award-winning and bestselling book “Niyah Zuri and the Pharaoh’s Throne” I am currently completing the sequel “Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse” while bridging the gap of representation from books to cartoons. “Adventures with Niyah Zuri” is an animated series based on my books and currently in production for the teaser, which will be pitched to networks in the coming months. The cartoon will be visually unique while still focusing on representation, girl empowerment, and the education of our youth through World History and adventure; all the while still promoting literacy both at home and all virtual classrooms. Visit to order books, download free parent and teacher resources, and keep up with my latest news.

Chris Collins is an American multimedia journalist from Los Angelas, California

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store