Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be? (A Book Review)

December 8, 2017





Title: Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be?

Author:  Ameshia Gabriel Arthur

Synopsis: A young boy named Matthew considers all the things he can accomplish and all the careers he can do.


Reflection: Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be? resonated with me in ways that will be make this writing probably the most transparent. Dating back to February 2012, the day Trayvon Martin’s short life of seventeen years was taken by the hands of George Zimmerman, I uttered “I am glad we don’t have a brown son” to my husband. The thought of thinking of ways to keep our brown son safe from the likes of Zimmerman and the police sent chills down my spine. I, like the rest of brown America paid tribute to the slain youth by wearing hoodies and posting our picture on social media wearing them. My concern for brown boys’ lives emboldened August 9, 2014 when 18-year-old Michael Brown’s life was taken by the hands of Darren Wilson, and I pregnant with my son. I cried like a baby on November 24, 2014 when the grand jury handed down their decision not to indict Wilson. I cried that night for Michael Brown’s parents; for other mothers of brown sons whose lives were taken by the hands of those who hated them because of their skin tone; and lastly, I cried for my unborn baby boy.


On December 9, 2014 My husband and I welcomed our baby boy into the world and into our family. I peered into my son’s eyes and told him that he is the light that people will see and respect. That he has a strong name, and that he will be an achiever and he will become whatever it is that he wants to be when he grows up. I no longer looked at my son as a victim but as my most prized possession that I will help nurture and funnel dreams to.


Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be? I can be a winner of a spelling Bee.


I read Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be? to my soon to-be- three-year-old son. He was excited to see a brown boy on the cover and every time we came to the prose, “Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be? he would say it louder each time after learning about a different career or achievement. It was sort of funny because the excitement in my son’s voice is how I can hear the main character in the story react every time he learned a new discovery on what he can be or achieve in life.





Inside Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be?


The 32-page picture book, written by Ameshia Arthur, with its colorful and vivid illustrations follows a young brown boy named Matthew who asks himself a very simple but powerful question: “Brown Boy Brown Boy, what can you be?” Through rhyming text, Matthew’s answers are of him achieving and reaching certain goals, and explores different career options he can do along the way such as being a horticulturist, oceanographer and chef to name a few.


Brown Boy Brown Boy, what can you be? I can be a scientist who studies bumblebees.


Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be? is a great read for children 3-7 years old. It can be a parent’s perfect tool to use to help shape a young brown boy’s perception and self-image of themselves, which is essential to a child’s growth, development and self-esteem in an ever-changing society. Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can I Be teaches all brown boys that they are valuable part of their communities. A perfect and true message.


Read. Play. Learn!

Read Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can I Be? Play with your brown boy and discover all the reachable and attainable goals he can achieve from childhood through adulthood. Listen and Learn about your brown boy’s dreams and desires.


You can purchase your copy of Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be? here!


Follow Ameshia Arthur: You can follow authoress Ameshia Arthur on her Instagram @ameshiaarthur.


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