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Every little girl has a story.
Every little girl has a story.

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Does This Generation Still Need Black History Month?

I state stats to stunt – I don’t need to front. I make black history every day, I don’t need a month.

-Kanye West

It’s that time of year again…to remind the world that our culture and achievements are NOT seasonal. Our contributions to the fabric of this nation are too great to be confined to a measly month. More to the point, African Americans are breaking so many new barriers everyday it is almost impossible to keep up—but keep up we must. If we become too mired in the past, even for a month, we risk missing out on what is happening right before us. Make no mistake, what’s happening now wouldn’t be possible without the past which is all the more reason to celebrate the present.  To quote Drake and Future, among others, “what a time to be alive!”.

 

Oprah became the new Madame CJ Walker, but Wendy Williams is fast becoming the new Oprah. Kanye West became the James Brown of the hip hop generation, but now Chance The Rapper is becoming the new Kanye. Al Sharpton became a modern day Malcom X but now DeRay McKesson is becoming the new Al Sharpton. Denzel Washington became the new Sidney Poitier and perhaps Donald Glover will become the new Denzel.

 

The point isn’t that the new generation is surpassing the older generation, it’s that our achievements are exponential and the Black Present/Future holds so much more promise to focus on than the yearly marginalization of that is Black History Month. Every iteration of our past social leaders and cultural influencers proves to be more disruptive that the next and that is what moves us forward. Forward is where we need to be going. So as we acknowledge Martin Luther King, we see that he has influenced Barack Obama and although Barack Obama is far from done, I can’t wait to meet Barack 2.0.

Past, Present, Future

The awesomeness of all this is that we get to watch. Not only that but at any given time any one of us can pick up the mantle of whoever inspires us in business, sports, the arts or social activism and take it even further than they did because the barriers of entry to anything have never been lower and we have never been more inspired.

 

Personally, I don’t find Black History Month very useful.  I’m under no illusion that we are living in some sort of post racial paradise but I’m not entirely sure we need a 28-day long elephant in the room calling attention to the fact that in the past we were marginalized so badly that we had to be given an entire month to remind the country that not only do we exist but we contribute! I say we reject how our culture is dusted off like random holiday decorations, arranged just so for a few days for desired effect, the stuffed back in the box. When Donald Glover can create and star in a Golden Globe award winning show then based off his mere utterance at said award show propel the careers of a fledgling rap group into the stratosphere of pop culture it would seem our history has and continues to serve us well.  Have we “arrived”? No, not collectively. However, our best and brightest don’t have to die to be celebrated. I say we celebrate everyday as the present day for our achievements and focus on creating the future. That’s the best way to honor our past.

 

–Comora’s Dad

 

The Top Three Reasons Why Comora’s Stories is off to an Amazing Year!

Comoras Stories ... Coming Soon!

 

Happy New Year! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let me tell you about the exciting things Comora’s Stories has been doing since the new year has started. Comora’s Stories has secured a sponsorship through world class printing company, Mimeo, to print and deliver copies of all three books in the Comora’s Stories series to over 100 public and charter schools throughout New York City. The books will ship during the month of January and be addressed to the principals of the schools in order to introduce them to the Comora’s Stories brand and open a dialog about increasing diversity in their school libraries. Thanks to the generosity of Mimeo, schools and their administrators that wouldn’t normally be exposed to the Comora’s Stories brand will be able to familiarize themselves with all the books at once and the Comora’s Stories brand will receive unprecedented exposure throughout the entire city.

 

The second thing that Comora’s Stories has done is rebrand itself. We are now a children’s literary start-up focusing on promoting ethnic and gender diversity in children’s literature as opposed to merely a publisher of diverse children books. We don’t have a fancy app or some super cool proprietary technology to accomplish our goal of disrupting the current status quo in children’s publishing as it relates to diversity, but nonetheless we embody the principles of every start-up out there–solve a problem of an underserved market. This goal goes beyond the dollars and cents of market penetration, sales verticals and the cost of customer acquisition. For us it’s about creating more of what you want to see in the world and making an impact on lives other than your own in hopes that the impact you made reverberates into change for everyone around them and that the cycle continues.

 

While we’ve always embodied these principals of a start-up, we felt the need to put it front and center so that we are constantly reminded and held accountable that we are not just in the business of creating and distributing but of establishing our brand while constantly looking for new ways to disrupt the current market leaders.

 

Our third thing we’ve done since the new year has started was create a Comora’s Stories YouTube channel. So in addition to our website, and our various online retail outlets, readers can go to the Comora’s Stories YouTube channel to watch videos of their favorite books in the Comora’s Stories series being read and get previews of new Comora’s Stories books and products as they become available. We felt this was essential because a lot of our readers (and their parents) have smartphones and tablets and video content is no longer a bonus but to be expected. Since Comora’s Stories creates, controls and owns all the content it produces, putting content on our YouTube channel will be a seamless experience which means our readers/viewers will always have something cool to watch.

 

So there you have it. Since January 1st 2017 we have secured a sponsorship that has afforded us citywide distribution and promotion, a complete rebranding that has refocused and recommitted us our core goal of promoting ethnic and gender diversity in children’s literature, and the launching of the Comora’s Stories YouTube channel to bring the Comora’s Stories brand to smartphones and tablets everywhere. Not too bad for a scappy start-up. Stay tuned for what we do NEXT month…

 

-Comora’s Parents

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