Carlotta Penn '99 Featured in the Columbus Dispatch
Erica Thompson, Columbus Dispatch - Photo by Kyle Robertson

"Carlotta Penn’s book, "The Turtle with an Afro," teaches Black girls to love the versatility of their hair. On Saturday, she will premiere an animated short based on the book at an online event hosted by the Columbus Museum." - Erica Thompson, Columbus Dispatch

Author Carlotta Penn was tired of the lack of diversity in children's TV programming — so she created her own cartoon.

She noticed the disparity while searching for shows for her daughter, Jember, 3, and son, Zemen, 2.

"It's just so ridiculous," said Penn, 39, who lives in the Old Oaks neighborhood with her children and husband, Haile Shiferaw. "All of that content is white-centric. Even anthropomorphic characters. ... Like, can you just make some of the people brown?"

Penn will debut her animated short, "The Turtle with an Afro," on Saturday at the Columbus Museum of Art's virtual Community Book Club event, which will include an interactive discussion. The two-minute film is based on Penn's 2019 self-published children's book of the same name that celebrates the versatility of Black hair. It also will be available on YouTube. Read the full story here.