Our children are in good hands

By Yolanda T. Marshall

Latoya A. Belfon

Latoya A. Belfon is a talented self-published author/illustrator of over fifteen books, a McGill University graduate, an educator, a goals coach and a motivational speaker. She empowers other women to meet their goals and is a co-founder of Empowered Women in Lit, an online platform to promote diverse authors and anti-bias literature. Latoya also created a support network of women sharing knowledge and resources, called The Winning Women’s Guide to Goal Crushing. It is with great honour to learn more about Latoya, who deserves to be celebrated for her literary contributions to our Caribbean community.

You currently have a lot of best-selling books. What inspired you to write those stories?

Latoya A. Belfon: My first best-selling children’s book was Grandma’s Hands. It has been my most successful book so far, and I believe it because it is a story that mirrors the journey and love that many cultures and people have. I was inspired to write a story about Black History but could only honestly do that with a perspective and experience that was my own. As a woman of Caribbean descent, Black History Month is often centred around Black American History and experience. While it is still essential and impactful, those times and issues may seem far off for the new generation. I thought about how I could portray similar themes of that history but connect stories of now. The history that we are creating now. This is why Grandma’s Hands has been so successful and impactful. It illustrates the journey of a grandmother’s will and desire to change her financial situation when she leaves her small Caribbean country and family to migrate to Canada. We all can relate to themes at the heart of this story – love of family and traditions. My other best-selling books followed a similar writing pattern by sharing my experience and portraying a universal truth that connects with many readers.

How does it feel to write books with representation for the younger generation?

L.A.B: Writing books with representation for the younger generation has shown me how powerful literature is. Not only do stories provide a safe mental escape and record important events in our society, but creating characters that are positive, different, inspiring, and successful and hearing the positive responses of young readers is fulfilling. I have young relatives who started writing their stories at ten because of reading my books and seeing my journey as an author. No other proof is needed to show that what we do in literature is necessary.

Grandma’s Hands

Written and illustrated by Latoya A. Belfon

Grandma’s Hands

A children’s book that Highlights an Appreciation for Cultural Heritage, Family Traditions and Developing a Strong Sense of Self. A mother shares her beloved grandmother’s story with her daughter. It tells of her grandmother’s journey from her small Caribbean Island to a country of big dreams, Canada. This beautiful poetic tale demonstrates themes of love, belonging, and heritage that remind us of the importance of knowing our history and ancestry. This book is dedicated to all the brave individuals who have journeyed to new lands in the hope of finding better opportunities for their families. Your courage has birthed a new generation who appreciates your value. No matter the race or culture, the universal themes of love and respecting family are found in every one of us.” – Publisher, 2021







Brothers from Canada

Brothers from Canada

Written by Jeff A.D. Martin, an influential motivational speaker, author, podcast host and mentor.

Brothers from Canada / Sisters from Canada: Role Models in Canadian Black History is Jeff A. D. Martin’s newest book that illustrates some of the historical black figures who helped shape Canada into what it is today.” – Inspire Legacy Company, www.inspirelegacycompany.com






There’s No One Just Like Me!

There’s No One Just Like Me!

Written by Krishana Johnson-James, a Barbados-born, Canadian author and educator who is a brilliant advocate for diverse and inclusive literature.

There’s No One Just Like Me! is a story that encourages readers to realize that we all have a special story to share. Our personal stories are unique and can empower others, too. It reminds us that each person is important and special in their way. This sweet, rhyming, children’s picture book details the experiences of a little girl with a big dream. The book is dear to the author’s heart as it is based on her own life story!” – Independently published, 2022.

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