Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber T. Bogan.
Hi Amber, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
As a child, I always loved to read. As an adult, when I became a mother, I knew I wanted to share my love for reading with my daughter. In building her home library, I became discouraged by the lack of books that positively represented her and decided to become a part of the solution.
Driven by my passion for creating stories for my daughter that I wish I had as a child, in 2019, I Authored my debut title, Little Miss is Destined for Greatness and launched my very own publishing company, Bright Light Publishing House, shortly after.
I have recently released a second title, My Beads and Me, and have begun work on a third title to be released later this year. With plans to expand my children’s book catalog across a variety of topics, I am on a mission to create a space where Black children feel loved, seen, and empowered.
I am honored to do my part to elevate and address such an important need.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My journey can be described in many ways, but “smooth” is not one of them. Aside from the steep learning curve, one might expect when venturing into something new, one of the most difficult challenges has been a confrontation with those who do not understand the value of the work I am doing.
For every person who voices their appreciation, I am met with the ones who feel quite the opposite. I have received some pretty negative comments regarding my decision to center Black main characters in my work. There is no coincidence that those comments always come from those who can easily see themselves represented in a plethora. While the comments are disheartening, I am not swayed in my approach.
While we know that children can learn important values from book characters of any background, it builds children’s confidence and self-esteem to see and read literature featuring characters that look like them. Through this platform, I am on a mission to create authentic, high-quality children’s books that normalize black childhood and feel like a big bear hug!
My vision is to create a space where Black children feel loved, seen, and empowered, through both the books we create and the images of the storytellers behind them.
This work I do is unapologetic.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Bright Light Publishing House?
Bright Light Publishing House is an award-winning, independent children’s book publisher dedicated to centering and celebrating black protagonists.
Through this platform, I am on a mission to increase the positive representation of Black children in children’s literature through both the books and the images of the storytellers behind them.
Why? I’m glad you asked. Did you know that only roughly 10% of traditionally published children’s books in the U.S. feature black main characters? In addition, only 50% of those books are actually written and/or illustrated by Black creatives.
A child proclaiming “This is me!” or “This looks like me!” is the ultimate example of why this work is so important. These moments continue to bring me to tears time and time again and are the foundation of this work.
In all that I do, I do it with love and intention. It is my hope that these sentiments are felt in each image and throughout every page.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
As opposed to luck, I view my journey as an independent author and publisher to be a blessing in my life.
I have always dreamt of being an entrepreneur from as far back as I can remember. Just a few short years ago, I can also vividly recall asking God specifically for a business that would allow me to check 3 boxes.
Impact my community. Earn an income. Involve my children.
With no prior professional experience in this space and only my creative spirit and sheer tenacity to work with, God made a way for me to do just so. I am eternally grateful and fully intend to be a good steward of what I have been charged with.
- “My Beads and Me” Hardcover Book $18.95
- “Little Miss is Destined for Greatness” Softcover Book $13.95
- Website: www.brightlightpublishinghouse.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brightlightpublishinghouse/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrightLightPublishingHouse