Founders of ‘Hey There’ Series Reimagine Black Characters by Challenging Stigmas and Reclaiming Mental Health in Kids Stories

Meet Adryan Moorefield and TJ Perry, the co-founders of the popular ‘Hey There’ series. These seasoned educators are reimagining the genre by inserting characters of color in real-life situations. Sporting curls, braids, and twists, each sun-kissed character explores everyday emotions and even how to navigate through troubled waters.

According to a recent article by Education Week, white characters still dominate kids’ books and school texts. Though the study finds Black faces are underrepresented in picture books and curriculums, one dynamic duo is upending the status quo.

In Hey There Little Black Boy and Hey There Little Black Girl, 59 Affirmations To Help You Learn Your Feelings, the authors set the tone for a teachable moment. Children of color see themselves depicted positively as they flip through the winding stories and hear the voice of the narrator saying, “Hey there, little Black boy, that reflection you see is light. Don’t be afraid to let it shine, for yours is really bright.”

Readers are captivated by the affirmations and thoughtful illustrations that capture the real faces of today’s youth. Each colorful representation supports the substory that every little life needs to be valued and seen. The thoughtful prose dances on the pages as these Dallas-based authors impress upon the reader how to be happy in their skin and acknowledge their emotions.

Educators throughout the country praise Moorefield and Perry for this powerful series. Cassie S. raves – “This book is important! As educators, we have moved beyond teaching and into
social-emotional learning, and the Hey There series does just that. It’s an excellent way to get our children started early on practicing positive affirmations. It’s a must for all home and classroom libraries.”

One renowned psychotherapist Dr, Mariam Robin, concurs, “Hey There Little Black Boy is the book you never knew you needed to read, hear, meditate on, or experience. This is a book of affirmations; everybody needs young, old, and all ages in between.” Dr. Robin knows the toll society can take on Black children and adds, “This book plants and tends to the seeds of our
self-worth and helps foster the worth of those we deeply care about. Hey There Little Black Boyalso discredits the lies that we unconsciously or unassumingly adopted just by walking through our day-to-day lives in a broken world.”

According to Moorefield and Perry, “The Hey There series of books were created to help Black children actively see themselves in literature.” This riveting body of work aims to stem the tide of disinformation around the Black experience and give children wings to fly to higher heights. “ We hope to give Black children the opportunity to dream again. To know that with imagination, determination, skill, and support, they will possess the tools to go as far as they want in this life.” add the two creatives.

These books have garnered a growing following and were recently featured in Kia’s “The Mic is Yours” campaign. Adryan and TJ are impacting the next generation one page at a time.

Learn more at, or follow on social media @HeyThereSeries.


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