Nyasha Williams grew up living intermittently between the United States and South Africa. As a kindergarten teacher, she was inspired to write her first book when one of her Black students told her that mermaids could not be Black. Williams kickstarted her first picture book, What’s the Commotion in the Ocean, starring a Black mermaid who spreads a message of marine conservation. The beautiful illustrations and diverse representation caught the attention of many, and her Kickstarter was publicized on Pantsuit Nation before becoming fully funded.
Williams began I Affirm Me in 2020, inspired by a mantra she and her students recited together at the beginning of each day: I am confident and capable / I learn at my own pace / I am loved / I believe in me / I believe in us.I Affirm Me was born of her desire to spread a similar positive message to Black children as well as celebrate the beauty of the Black community. “As BIPOCs, we are operating and navigating a world that wasn’t made for us and is actively working against us,” says Williams. “My efforts as a creator, author, and activist are to combat the systems of White supremacy, colonization, and the patriarchy, working towards decolonizing, liberating, and indigenizing our minds and world.”
Nyasha Williams now pursues social justice, decolonizing work, and creating for her community full-time. Her current projects range from educator-created anti-racist conversation decks, to an all-Black tarot deck, to a coaching course for anyone wishing to decolonize, liberate, and Indigenize. You can find her on Instagram at @writingtochangethenarrative. She lives in Colorado with her husband.