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Author Maya Cameron-Gordon on writing a children's book about Black mermaids

Author Maya Cameron-Gordon
Lakeela Smith
Author Maya Cameron-Gordon

This interview aired in the May 8, 2023 episode of Crosscurrents.

I really feel like this book helped heal a part of me that felt a little damaged from never getting to see myself in the roles I wanted to see myself in.

The children's book is about three Black mermaid sisters who each want to become queen of their sea kingdom. The vivid illustrations, created by Mexican artist Mirelle Ortega, depict characters with different hair textures and skin tones. Maya Cameron-Gordon wrote “The Mermaid Princesses: A Sister Tale" so Black kids like her daughter, can see themselves in fantasy stories. In this interview Maya talks about why she also wanted to make empowering female characters and her dreams of turning the book into an animated series.

Click the play button above to listen to the interview

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She is the executive producer and host of the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds as well as the series Sights + Sounds Magazine. Jeneé also covers East Oakland for KALW. Jeneé has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.