When actress Garcelle Beauvais first arrived in Massachusetts from Haiti, it was the first time she felt different from those around her. "When I went to school, I was the only black child, and the kids would touch my skin and feel my hair because they hadn't seen someone like me," she told parenting site Elizabeth St. "I never thought of myself as different until then."
Beauvais is drawing on that experience and that of raising three children, including bi-racial twin boys, in the first of a series of children's books entitled "I Am Mixed."
"[The book] is an invaluable teaching tool that all children from all races can learn from,” actress Halle Berry wrote in the foreword.
Like Beauvais' twins, "I Am Mixed" tells the story of siblings Jay and Nia as they explore the thoughts and emotions of being of mixed ethnicities. It's a topic Beauvais says she broached with her sons at a very young age -- 2 1/2. "I didn't want them to be asked why is your mommy brown and daddy white and not have them understand it themselves," she said in an interview with Lifetime's celebrity parents blog. "I wanted them to know that they're the best parts of us put together. What I wanted most of all is for them to be proud of who they are and celebrate themselves.”
"I Am Mixed" is the first in line of a larger series called I Am, which will tackle the issues of divorced parents and adoption in the coming months.
Read more of her interview with Elizabeth St. (including her insight on raising boys almost 18 years apart) here.