A SOUTHAMPTON woman has written a book in a bid to inspire people of colour to be true to themselves. 

Traci Carroll's new children's book is inspired by her own childhood as a daughter of West Indian parents who came to England in the 1960s. 

Millie Doesn't Mind is a black, indigenous, and people of the colour story of awareness and inclusion about a little girl with a big heart and the self-confidence to inspire others.

The book is designed as a place to start discussions about communities, friendship, and fitting in.

Speaking of her childhood, Traci told the Echo: "Seventies was a strange time. Just like today, there was economic instability. 

"Although you had those issues, you also had something quite wonderful.

"When I think back, you had a West Indian community that had come to Britain to help the workforce.

"Ultimately, my book tells us they wanted opportunities. They wanted a better tomorrow for their children." Daily Echo: Millie Doesn't MindMillie Doesn't Mind

Traci, who lives in the Highfield area of Southampton, wrote the book during lockdown as a positive story to inspire young children to stay true to themselves, especially in difficult times. 

Recalling her writing experience, she said: "I wrote this book during the first lockdown, which was a difficult time for all of us. 

"With the Black Lives Matter protest, we also had the narrative that black people are likely to die four times more than white people, and I thought, how can that be? The NHS is great.

"On top of that, children as young as four and five were struggling with mental health issues. 

"At that time, I just thought the world was in a crisis. I picked up a pen and wrote a story as a distraction." 

Traci's first book is also a tribute to her parents.

This picture book for young children is great for reading at school or at home

The mum of two added: "I really enjoyed writing it. It got me through some dark days. 

"Everyone has a story, and this was mine." 

Traci hopes her book reaches not only the hands of black children but people of all colours.

She added: "Growing up I read Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel. I absolutely those books and have huge respect for the authors. But it was just there was never anyone in them that I could relate to.

"I hope that black children will see themselves reflected through my book."

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