Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MyBrownBaby Fresh: The 2010 Holiday Gift Guide For Brown Boys

Welcome to day two of the MyBrownBaby Fresh 2010 Gift Guide. I combed the web in search of goodies made and or sold by people of color and found THE BEST gifts—like dolls, stationery, jewelry, art, children's books, clothes, and beauty products you'll be proud to give to the favorite people on your list. Yesterday, I featured delicious treats for the little girls in your life. Next up: Great gifts for the little boys you love. Click on the headlines or the prices at the end of each listing to get to the online stores selling these precious goodies, all of which have the MyBrownBaby Fresh stamp of approval. Happy shopping! 

Because what’s better than setting the bar high for our boys? And how cute are these t-shirts anyway? Cocoa Babies has a bunch of great t-shirts for children with lots of positive messages; the logo that caught my eye was the one with “College Bound” written across the chest, but “Destined For Greatness” is adorable, too, as is the “Lil Brotha” bib (replete with the black fist), and the “Strong Black Man In the Making” onesie. Yessir! From $7.99, exclusively at Cocoa Babies.

And if you thought finding dolls that look like little black girls is hard, try getting your hands on a non-white action figure. I ‘clare fo’ sweet baby Jesus, I think it might be easier to find a black Santa in Vermont than a super hero/action figure with brown skin and African American features in a toy store. *church hand held high—and let the choir sang, “Amen.”* But after an exhaustive search, I found one, doggonit! It’s a 4-inch scale figure of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in all his chocolatey goodness. He’s got more than 20 points of movement for a wicked amount of posing options. Pair it with some imagination, and you’ve gotten the little boy in your life some maximum playtime. All day! $7.99 at Entertainment Earth.

Supersoaker Wars Shotblast Water Blaster

I  know, I know—here I am promoting toy guns. But dig this precious pearl I learned just yesterday: The Super Soaker, one of the most popular toy water guns in history, was invented by… wait on it… an African American rocket scientist named Dr. Lonnie Johnson. Which brings a whole ‘nother meaning to the beauty of this baby, touted as the hugest air-powered water blaster in the super soaker arsenal. Pump the handle for a quick load from the large-capacity tank and use the tactical rail to line up shots—and remind the special boy in your life that he should thank Dr. Johnson, a man who looks just like him, for all the great waterpower.  The Supersoaker Wars Shotblast Water Blaster - Red is $19.15 at Amazon.

I’m just saying—how fly would your brown boy be with one of these babies on his arm? I simply l-o-v-e Michele Verbeek’s do-it-yourself jewelry designs, which allow you to create eye-grabbing masterpieces for even the most finicky wearers. Choose a manly-looking leather (the chocolate brown is delicious), accent it with a nickel, bronze or silver metal, and pick the perfect message and—voila!—you’ve got a hot cuff for the styling brown boy in your life. And Michelle is great: She works from any style you conjure up on your own, and gets them to you, speedy and easy-peasy. A Michele V. cuff with “Brown Boys Rule” would make the little guy love you long time. Custom cuffs from $18, at Michele Verbeeck. 

Yes, I’m well aware that practically every little human being on the planet saw this flick when it was in theaters earlier this year, but Karate Kid, with the super cute Jaden Smith peeling back the black boy layers—tough as leather, but totally in need of love and hugs; bullied but determined to find strength; super cool but a total fish-out-of-water—is a movie every black boy should have in his DVD collection. The messages of love, acceptance, adversity, overcoming, strength, humility, discipline—all of these are wrapped up in this storyline in a way that we don’t often get to see when it comes to children of color on the big screen. And did I mention that the lead character is an African American boy? ‘Nuff said.  The Karate Kid is $17.99 on Amazon

Buy several copies of this book and hand it out like candy to the brown boys in your life. So rare is a jewel like this middle grade novel, by Ruby & the Booker Boys author and MyBrownBaby favorite Derrick Barnes, that we as parents of brown babies need to do everything within our power to make We Could Be Brothers a bestseller so many more novels like it can follow. In this critically-acclaimed, fast-paced book, two 13-year-old African American boys become friends during a three-day stint in an after school suspension—punishment stemming from run-ins with the school’s resident menace, Tariq Molten. During the three-day span, the boys bond over a multitude of subjects—from hip hop and black women to masculinity and the “N” word—and before long, the three boys are on a collision course, an intersection that will change their lives forever. “We Could Be Brothers” hits all the right notes, with themes that revolve around mentorship, brotherhood, and that old adage, “each one, teach one.” Your brown boy will love this young adult literary masterpiece. And you’ll love that he loves it! We Could Be Brothers is $12.95 on Amazon.


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  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH for these ideas!! I have my son's *big* gifts, but needed other things .. and these are so perfect!!!

  2. Thank you so much for these suggestions!! Great stuff. Do you have any book suggestions for 9 year old brown boys??

  3. for more book ideas, there's a great list here:


    i have a list of book resources on my site, too:

  4. @GYF Executive Director, aka my sister-in-law, Angelou:

    Search for Miami Jackson on Amazon and a bunch of books featuring black boys will pop up. Click on one of the books and then scroll down the page to the "Customers who bought this book also bought..." section, and you'll see a bunch more for black boys.

    Library Thing also has an AWESOME list of books featuring or by people of color. At the top left of the page, you can separate the books by "category." They don't separate books out by sex, but there are books for boys there. And if you cross reference them with Amazon, you'll find more books similar to the ones listed on Library Thing. The link is:

    You should also check out www.TheBrownBookshelf.com. They keep up with all the latest books for and about children of color.

    Love ya!

  5. I second Cocoa Babies! I love the products. They are high quality and very uplifting. My two year old son has the "Strong Black Man in the Making" t-shirt.

  6. I am the owner of Cocoa Babies. Thank you so much for featuring our "College Bound" tee. We are biased but we agree that it makes a great gift.

  7. Here's another Black-owned company that makes action figures: Black Action Heroes by History in Action Toys designs action figures of authentic American heroes to educate your children about our history. These heroes include Benjamin Banneker, Bessie Coleman & Matthew Henson. Inspire your children today!

  8. I love the cuff...I want one for myself, but I think it will make a great present for my "I don't know what to buy him" 15 year old son.


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