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Elevated and melanated backpacks, lunch boxes, and pencil cases are here to spark meaningful conversations between Black children and their caregivers!

The Ancestors Collection is a tool for empowerment that speak life into Black children – whether that’s motivating affirmations or sharing stories about change-makers who built the foundations of our brilliance. We’re replacing ordinary backpacks, pencil cases, and lunch boxes with conversation starting essentials that lead to legacy building inside and outside the classroom. After supporting other black authors and creators, we’re launching our own line of products.


The Ancestors Collection isn’t just a few essentials featuring popular figures of our past. Our Ancestors Collection is the only collection designed to help caregivers share the powerful message that Black Brilliance is everywhere!

This Collection embodies







When you shop from the Ancestors Collection, your child can CREATE like Ella Baker, WRITE like Frederick Douglass, or LEAD like Harriet Tubman, which makes only one thing is possible – and that’s Black Brilliance!

the harriet tubman line

the frederick douglass line

the ella baker line

“When your child understands the stories of Ella Baker, Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman, they’ll know and understand just how much boldness leads to success. Your child needs to have knowledge and understanding of the real stories that shape our culture.”

- Shawna Wells

Founder & CEO, B is for Black Brilliance

A Note from Our Founder & CEO

My name is Shawna Wells, and I am the Founder and CEO of B is for Black Brilliance.  I am also an educator, a mom, a friend, and an executive coach. 

I grew up in a world where I rarely saw Black people or Black brilliance in books, movies, or lessons. My school supplies often had non-Black characters displayed on them, and the heroes we talked about at school were rarely the same race as me.  

When I became a teacher in 2004, I was shocked to see that not much had changed from my childhood. I looked everywhere for books and stories about Black characters for my students to read and learn about Black brilliance in meaningful ways. Then, I was reminded of my own reflections as a child and young adult. There were very few stories about Black brilliance being told in my school. 

My experience matches the statistics: in 2017, only 11% of all children’s books featured a significant Black character which amounts to only 330 books—only 100 of which were written and illustrated by Black people. Further, only 2% of the characters on backpacks and school supplies were people of color. 

I founded B is for Black Brilliance because it’s time to educate our children differently. B is for Black brilliance will equip caregivers, educators, Black kids, and kids (and parents) working in allyship with vibrant books, resources, and tools that affirm and celebrate Black history AND Black futures.