These days, coloring books are all the rage. What was once considered an activity meant for children has officially evolved into a therapeutic pastime for adults. In Avie's Dreams: An Afro-Feminist Coloring Book, Atlanta-based artist Makeda Lewis has created a book where blackness, feminism, and coloring collide on the same page. The 25-year-old has been drawing since she was a kid but, according to her, did not begin to take the craft seriously until about four years ago.
The timing of the release of Lewis' book could not be at a more crucial time. Every day, there is a headline in the news about something so devastating that you can't believe it's real. For black women, carrying the weight of this pain can be a huge burden. “You constantly see the media having a hard time contextualizing black women and men as victims every day, even when it means losing their own lives,” Solange Knowles wrote in a recent essay.
A book like Avie's Dreams will provide comfort to many black women around the world who need it. The beauty of coloring books is that they contain a level of privacy. Coloring is a solitary activity; you don't have to show and tell because this release of pure creative expression is intended for your eyes only. For a designated amount of time, black women can dare to color outside the lines and allow their minds to escape harsher realities.
Avie's Dreams is available to purchase now on Amazon. Learn more about the woman behind the beautiful words and illustrations in the interview, below.