Shakeeka Watts, Anson County native an author of “Dream Big,” was the guest speaker for the June 18 Brown Bag Book Club meeting at Hampton B. Allen Library.
Her debut self-published children’s book was intended to be written only for her daughter. After reading it, Watts’ daughter encouraged her to share it with others.
Watts said that she was inspired to write the book while visiting her daughter’s second-grade class.
“Each student was given the opportunity to say what he or she wanted to be when he or she grew up,” Watts said, with the majority of students wanting to be doctors, lawyers and engineers.
“Sadly to say, the African-American students only wanted to become singers, football players or basketball players,” she said, which made her wonder, “Why?”
“Is it because, as African-Americans, we don’t educate our children about different career opportunities or is it because there are not many African-Americans in higher positions for our kids to associate with,” she queried. “At that moment, I decided to write a book to educate our youth, particularly girls, about the opportunities they have.”
Watts is aiming to inspire African-American girls to work hard to become whatever they want.
Although they relate to being athletes and musicians, and there is nothing wrong with that, Watts said that people should teach other kids the reality that they have other choices.
“Don’t limit yourself because of race and growth,” Watts said.
Watts holds a Bachelor of Fine Art degree with a concentration in advertising and graphics from Wingate University.
She is now working on her second self-published children’s book, “Just As You Are.” The book is to remind children that despite what they feel are flaws, they were made perfectly by God, and to accept and love themselves.