Colors of the World
The significance of color is particularly important to the overall Black community. There are numerous conversations over proper representations of skin tones across the Black race. To say that all Black people are the same shades of brown is completely inaccurate. That is what makes Crayola’s recent color collection so important.
On Thursday May 21st, 2020, Crayola, the popular art supply brand, unveiled their “Colors of the World” skin tone crayons. The popular arts and crafts organization developed 24 crayons aimed at representing the various skin tones of the human population. Crayola’s CEO Rich Wuerthele stated in the press release quoted in an article from CNN.com, “With the world growing more diverse than ever before, Crayola hopes our new Colors of the World crayons will increase representation and foster a greater sense of belonging and acceptance”.
Photo: New York Times
Crayola’s announcement also coincides with the United Nations World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
This announcement is significant because it shows a deliberate act of equality and representation on the part of Crayola. Caroline Bologna, writer for the Huffington Post, in her 2020 article, “Crayola Unveils New Inclusive Skin Tone Crayons” writes, “to create the new colors, Crayola teamed up with MOB Beauty co-founder and CEO Victor Casale… the packs include side panels with the color names, including ‘light almond,’ ‘deep rose,’ and ‘medium golden.’ Each crayon label also lists the color name in English, Spanish, and French.”
The history of Crayola dates to the early 20th Century. Writer Paul Davidson in his 2015 article for Mental Floss, writes, “cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith introduced their first eight Crayola crayons in 1903. But the world has changed since then, and so, too, have the names of their waxy creations. With an eye towards shifting societal, racial, or political attitudes, the company behind these crayons of yore has scribbled over these original monikers in favor of more crowd-pleasing- but equally colorful—titles”. Davidson goes on to profile several times throughout history where the names of the crayons had to be revised.
One hundred and twenty-seven years later, the arrival of an all-inclusive crayon collection speaks volumes to where society and culture is on the course towards diversity and inclusion. Kindergarten is the time where color seems like an irrelevant aspect of a person’s value and worth. It is the time whereas children, the innocent guise of friendship is not scribbled by the colors of ignorance and hate.
Crayola’s announcement happening during the world’s reset- COVID-19- is a reminder of how simple the world is as a child, and how simple the world can still be.