No Mistake



Terry Tucker is the class clown...  One day, he calls Abena "ugly darkie," and everybody laughs.  Even though her parents always tell her she is beautiful, Abena chooses to believe Terry Tucker’s taunting.  She feels horrible!

                      Illustrations by Carla Nickerson 


In many ways, I was like Abena, the main character of this book.  However there are ways our experiences are very different.  Like Abena, I was treated negatively because I was considered “different.” Unlike Abena, I did not have adults in my life who were capable of helping me to love and accept myself.  Ill treatment stemming from racial bigotry affected me in ways that caused me to doubt my self-worth.  And without the support of family or other adult mentors, feelings of low self-esteem followed me into my adult life. I wish I had this book growing up; thankfully, it is available for You.

Author Chandra Washington is a dancer, musician, actress, performance poet, writer, and has expertise in “Healing Cuisine” food preparation and herbal nutrition.  As a child in the recently desegregated South, she faced mistreatment as one of a handful of Black students attending primary school with a predominantly Caucasian population.  Low self-esteem plagued her throughout childhood, and into her adult life. It is her desire that youth World Wide suffering with low self-worth can have No Mistake at their disposal and learn, without a doubt, that they are Perfect --EXACTLY as they are!

For more on the author, go to this LINK:

Why This Book?

While this book was written with young people in mind, it is UNIVERSAL, with a message for all ages, all walks of life.  It is my hope that young people in particular find something of value within these pages to afford them the proper building tools as they mature, so as to avoid what I had done for so many years which was, as I described in one of my adult poems, “Conducting adult affairs from the mind of a wounded child.”
-- Chandra Washington


No Mistake began as a short story for youth, inspired by a disturbing documentary (A Girl Like Me, by Kiri Davis), which brings attention to how an alarming number of modern-day Black children continue to see themselves as racially inferior.  Although this story is about a little Black girl overcoming cruelty and ridicule from her own kind through learning to love herself, the universal theme of self-acceptance resonates with ALL ages and ethnicities, males and females.  Whether a child is being victimized or is being the "bully," the purpose of this book is to raise questions for the purpose of self-discovery and positive transformation.

Abena's Journey

Abena feels hopeless and alone when her classmates begin to ridicule her for the way she looks.  Despite positive reinforcements from her parents, Abena chooses to believe what her peers tell her; that she is “ugly.”  No Mistake: Journey to Self-Acceptance is a story of a little girl’s journey from low self-esteem to learning self-acceptance, even when her peers continue to reject her.  At the end of the story, the author provides a self-help Discovery Guide, featuring thought-provoking questions and exercises related to the story.



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