SAN DIEGO — A San Diego author is announcing her new children's book in celebration of 'Black History Month'. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Balboa Park to meet the author and her inspiring character Lori Leak.
Barrett Clemmensen Powell is proud of her parents and upbringing. "This is mommy and daddy. We were always going somewhere," she said while showing us pictures of her childhood. The author is also proud of all of the places she has travelled. "That's me in Copenhagen. That was me in Madrid," she said with her face lighting up with each memory. "I love to travel, I love to meet other people," she said.
Barrett Clemmensen Powell has quite a story to tell. "Yes, and I am so thrilled to be telling it," she said. It's a story this San Diego author says needs to be told to all children. As she looked at children's books in libraries, the author noticed she was not being represented. "I really don't and that's a fact. 83-percent of children's books are about Anglo boys and their dogs," said Barrett.
So, she launched a children's book series based on the main character Lori Leaks. “Lori Leak is a powerful figure for all children but especially girls and girls of color,” said Barrett, a San Diego resident, who is a former journalist turned entrepreneur and a world traveler herself. “She represents girls and in particular Black girls around the world, who are adventurous, intelligent, curious and sassy,” said Barret. " She is basically me."
Based on the author and her family, Lori Leak is a young girl who travels to major cities around the world. Once there she learns new cultures and makes new friends as well as visits local places of interest. The San Diego book will feature places like Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and Seaport Village. More than that, Lori Leak will show children various things they can do like surf, hike and visit local places of interest.
After San Diego, Lori is heading to Washington DC to meet Vice President Kamala Harris. "She makes me so proud. I mean you go girl," said Barrett. "Just like her I am a multi-ethnic black woman in the United States, educated, talented, experienced." Now she wants to share her experiences with young readers. "They can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone that they want to be," said Barrett. "My personal mission in life is to build bridges between people and cultures."
Which means look for Lori Leak to visit a town near you soon. Barrett plans to write 50 books in this series. "I'm going to write 50 and I'm going to do it. Everything I said I was going to do in life, I've done it," said Barrett.
“Lori Leak shows children that Black girls have normal family lives, travel the globe, have various talents and more. She helps represent Black girl magic,” said the author. “What a girl reads and sees shapes who she becomes as a woman”.
'Lori Leak Travels to San Diego' is the third book in the series after the inaugural book 'Lori Leak Travels to Paris' and the second adventure, 'Lori Leak Travels to Copenhagen'. The new book is scheduled for release in May of this year. For more information click here.