is a black woman owned business that sells school supplies for children of color.

As a young black woman who can relate to growing up in a mostly white atmosphere from age 0 to 22, I can’t remember seeing many images of black girls like me at school, on television or in magazines.

When I was a kid, my best girlfriends were white — when we played together we played with their white dolls and toys. Is it any wonder that at that young age I started to see myself through the eyes of a white girl?

It wasn’t until a white boy in my second grade class made an insensitive joke about my dark skin tone that I finally got that unfriendly “wake up call” — I was not like the other little white girls in my class. I was black.

Pam Richardson, 10-year marketing veteran, African-American entrepreneur and the founder of, can also relate to stories like this and cares about the images and messages that young black girls and boys see each day.

A notebook from the Images of Culture website
Pam explains her own personal experiences, which are not too much unlike other black people coming of age: 

"When I was a child, there was nothing black - no black dolls (except the black Cabbage Patch Kid, but I was too old for dolls when this came out!).  I was ‘ashamed’ of my hair, always wanting it to be long and to be able to withstand water (like my Caucasian friends).  Now, as an adult, I’m extremely comfortable with my natural hair and just ‘being black!’  But, it took many, many years for me to gain this level of self-appreciation.”

Young black kids simply don’t see enough positive images of themselves in the media and in the products they use. As an answer to this important need, Pam recently launched a site to sell school supply products for children of color. offers a selection of school notebooks and other supplies depicting young black children in a variety of colorful custom illustrations. They also have positive messages.

Pam explains her objective for the site:

My goal for my company is to deliver quality school supply products with uplifting, positive graphics and messages for African-American school-aged youth.  When children see my products, I hope they will say, ‘That looks like me!’ or ‘I want to do that!’”

Message from one of the products at Images of Culture
And she is right on point — sometimes all that a young black girl or boy needs is to see JUST ONE positive image of a black person who looks like them to start on the road to self-love.

So if you have a child of color, before you run down to Wal-Mart or Target to buy new school supplies for your kids this August, check out Pam’s site first. Fill up on supplies that will allow your child to see colorful images that reflect his or her beautiful unique culture each day while at school.

Black Girl Spotlight: Beautiful Black Ballerina from Africa pirouettes her way to stardom.

I had the great fortune to catch an ABC New special tonight profiling Michaela DePrince. She is a ballerina from Africa who has been grabbing attention in many different arenas.

For example, Michaela was recently featured on ABC’s popular Dancing with the Stars show. She is also one of the stars of a brand new documentary entitled “First Position,” which charts her journey to stardom in the world of ballet via the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City.

Despite being a very talented black ballerina, Michaela has had to suffer through many challenges on her way to this ABC special, documentary and Dancing with the Stars.

Her parents were shot in war-torn Sierra Leone. She was called a “Devil Child” by her peers when living at an orphanage in Africa. Her vitiligo (a condition that makes dark skin appear to have white blotches) caused her to stand out from the rest of the children.

By chance, a family from Cherry Hill, PA adopted her along with another African girl and brought her over to a better life in America where she decided to pursue her career as a ballerina. Her adoptive mother, Elaine DePrince, witnessed first-hand the prejudices that her daughter had to endure as a black ballet star —attendees at ballet events made comments in her presence, saying that a black girl wouldn’t be able to get on her tippy toes and command a show like the other girls.

And of course Michaela has proven the naysayers wrong. In addition to her television and movie appearances, she is now a student at the Jacqueline Onassis School at the American Ballet Theater was offered a position at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. 

She is thankful for her opportunities, new found fame and the ability to escape a troubled past.

The documentary “First Position” opens in theaters on May 11, 2012.