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“I’m not changing my color for anybody,” speaking out about colorism

“My Beautiful Colors” spreads a message of perseverance and acceptance
Nyibol Bior

Nyibol Bior, a former refugee from South Sudan, is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. Upon her arrival in the United States, children bullied her and made cruel comments about the darker pigment in her skin. Bior was impacted by these words and while working on her memoir later in life, decided to write a children's book. 

Bior is the author of “My Beautiful Colors” and will visit the Longmont Museum on Feb. 18 as part of a Black History Month celebration. 

“When I moved to the states, I faced colorism and the last time it happened I decided to add a chapter to talk about my skin color … I wrote it to basically educate people and to make it clear that I'm not changing my color for anybody,” Bior said. 

After pondering this section of the memoir, another author suggested that Bior write a children’s book instead. Her experience as a K-12 teacher allowed her to craft a book that would spread an inspiring message to children. 

Bior said “My Beautiful Colors” highlights the beauty of colors, the importance of being kind to others and working together towards a common goal. The book also teaches children how to overcome bullying and other situations.

“It’ll really help them realize that these things do happen but they don't have to be the end of us. We can keep going and continue to persevere,” Bior said. 

The visit to the Longmont Museum will feature a slideshow of excerpts from the book and an art activity emphasizing perseverance. Everyone can benefit from attending the event, Bior noted. 

“Having them listen to a story like mine, of a person who didn’t give up, I think is really important,” Bior said. 

Her memoir is in the works but in the meantime, the author is advocating against colorism and fighting towards making the world a better place. She will continue to share her refugee story and life experiences with others, she said.

“Use your story to teach rather than to deflect what you don’t want to see. You could send a message that you want the world to hear rather than fighting against a message that the world is sending you,” Bior said. 

The event at the Longmont Museum starts at 10 a.m. on Feb. 18.

Ivonne Olivas

About the Author: Ivonne Olivas

I’m from a small town in eastern Colorado and currently a journalism student at CU Boulder.
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