The #Merky Books Superheroes Announcement
It was announced recently that The Triple Cripples would feature in #Merky Books’ Superheroes. Superheroes is an illustrated book that highlights and celebrates over 50 iconic Black and Asian British people. It is an honour and pleasure to have been asked to be included in the upcoming book. To be considered superheroes by Stormzy and the #Merky Books team feels rather surreal but also, important.
🚨 We’re very excited to announce our first-ever illustrated kids book: SUPERHEROES ✨— #Merky Books (@MerkyBooks) June 29, 2021
Written by @SophiaThakur, illustrated by design student @Denzelld_art + features a special intro by Stormzy 🙌🏽
Out 16 September. Pre-order now!https://t.co/w00EHyxp2rhttps://t.co/Elyp5DzMNJ pic.twitter.com/jtv38gcLvu
When You Are Not The Superheroes
Growing up, I consumed a LOT of media, especially on the television. But I did not know of any media that spotlighted someone like me outside of the extraordinary Paralympics. And as a child that was not keen on exercise, that was never going to be somewhere I saw myself reflected. I didn’t really have a hero growing up. The only people that would encompass that honorific (and so much more) would be my parents, especially my mother.
As a Disabled young Black girl that would become a Disabled Black woman, I knew, even from early on, that they moved mountains for me on a daily basis. Through the jobs they did, the sleep they missed and the home comforts they left behind. They are not only heroes to me, but everything. However, my parents still could not understand what it means to experience life with a disability.
When Your Heroes Are Like You
I have said it before in many interviews, but I am truly inspired by my Triple Cripples co-founder, Kym. My knowing them has impacted me in the most miraculous of ways. I am pushed to do better by their mere presence and urged to want and demand more than what life may offer someone like me. And in them I was lucky enough to find something that I didn’t even know was missing.
There is much to be said for having someone to look to that understands so much of who you are. Aside from the fact that we are both disabled, our similarities in culture, upbringing, and pop culture references, means a great deal to me. And there is great power in that.
When Your Superheroes Look Like You
Representation is especially important in children’s literature because of an earnestness that children are blessed with. They’re curious because they genuinely want to understand. With such an eager audience, it is essential that they’re shown the multitude of ways people live and are. It’d be a disserve to present a limited view of such a big world.
For Disabled, and otherwise ‘othered’ children, it’s necessary for them to see themselves. But also for their future classmates, friends, partners, and colleagues, etc. It’s in the painting of this diverse picture of humanity that awkwardness is removed.
That’s why it’s huge that The Triple Cripples have been included in #Merky Books’ Superheroes. So, when children go to school and potentially see a Disabled child or teacher, they can tell them about their favourite icon from their favourite book. It is humbling for us to have been asked to be part of this project. However, it is also part of what we set out to do.
Recognition and celebration of people that are rarely recognised, let alone celebrated, was always part of our goal. We want to highlight and illuminate narratives of those like us. Representation is the journey, not the destination. We want to positively impact the lived experiences of those that are multiply marginalised. Our inclusion in a book like #Merky Books’ Superheroes will help us get closer.
Pre-Order #Merky Books Superheroes: Out 16th September