Mother-Daughter Duo Launches Line of Backpacks Featuring Black Faces
A few years ago, Chrishonda Benson’s sister sent her a video of her daughter saying she didn’t like her brown skin. Her heart sunk.
Her child was just 4-years-old at the time.
It was then that Benson noticed how difficult it was to find products such as dolls, backpacks, lunch bags and more that represented her daughter Mariah, who is now 9.
In 2020, Benson and Mariah launched their retail company Pretty Dope Society. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based brand believes representation matters, and Benson wanted to create an assortment of products so that no other Black child would ever feel how Mariah did that day she expressed discomfort in her brown skin.
“Far too often, Black families are left out of the narratives in the designs geared toward children,” Benson said in a blacknews.com report. “When you walk into many big department stores around the back-to-school season, it’s rare for Black families to see themselves portrayed in product designs.”
That fact was motivation for Benson’s and Pretty Dope Society co-designer Mariah’s recent launch of a line of back-to-school products. The new merchandise includes backpacks, pencil pouches, notebooks and more, all showcasing melanin magic.
Benson said the large selection of products is unlike what you’ll find in big box stores, and the creatives behind Pretty Dope Society are thrilled to offer Black representation as little Black and brown children embark on their educational journeys.
When children are seen positively in the world around them, it boosts their self-esteem.
Pretty Dope Society is helping children feel confident about the skin they’re in by putting Black art and images at the forefront.