Photo Credit: Felicia McCall
Meet The Mother-Daughter Duo Who Travels The World And Co-Write Travel Books
It isn’t often that you come across an African-American mother and daughter traveling the world and sharing their world of stories in travel books. Shayla McGhee and Payton McGhee (8) are the unicorns in the travel writing game we have all been waiting for.
A Black-owned publishing company
Georgia native, Shayla McGhee, is the Owner and CEO of Sable Inspired Books, a Black-owned publishing company launched in order to ‘create imaginative, creative, and inspirational literature that highlights Black characters.’
Founded in December 2020, the independent publishing company is a worldwide market of literary writers, including McGhee’s 8-year-old daughter Payton.
McGhee shares that since her childhood, she has always kept a keen passion for creating characters and sending them on adventures in her own writings. It makes sense then that her early introductions to prolific and culture-shaping Black women writers such as Maya Angelou and Phillis Wheatley would mark the genesis of Sable Inspired Books.
Tapping into the origins of the project, McGhee told Travel Noire , “One of my goals with Sable Inspired Books is to increase the presence of Black characters in a variety of children’s books. After my daughter and I took our first international trip together, I noticed the lack of diversity in travel books for kids. This inspired ‘Payton Goes to London’, the first book from our company. Since then, we have added coloring books, journals, and merchandise to the mix.”
Roots of Sable Inspired Books
On the website, it quotes the fact that Phillis Wheatley being known as ‘the sable muse’ served as the perfect inspiration for the company and a way to honor the legacy of African American literature.
Since launching, Shayla and Payton have published a series of heart-warming and affirmation books including ‘Payton Goes To Paris’, ‘Payton Goes To London’ and ‘Paxton Goes To Paris’.
Aside from these travel stories modelled off the duo’s real-life wanderlust, there are also adult and children’s coloring books available on the online store.
Black children deserve representation in the world of travel books
With the core intention being to spark Black children’s curiosity while showcasing the opportunity that Black mothers and daughters have to wander the world and learn together, the duo has created a flourishing series of books about their world adventures.
Born out of awareness of the obvious lack of representation in children’s literature, particularly where travel is involved, the duo set out to tell their stories for the world to see, experience and relate.
8-year-old Payton loves to travel and write as much as her mother
Payton, the adorable co-author of the series alongside her mother, explains the reason she enjoys traveling the world so much: “I love to travel the world because I like to get out of the house and explore, […] see different landmarks, and learn about the different languages and foods from new countries”.
Having started her literary journey as a five-year-old, Payton has already seen her co-authored book ‘Payton Goes to London’ as the site’s bestseller in the collection.
With over 150 books sold worldwide in 2021, it looks to be an encouraging and truly note-worthy career that awaits the young writer.
Building worlds where young Black wanderers feel safe and seen is an inspiring and much-welcomed offering that the Diaspora can count on Sable Inspired Books to generously deliver.
For more information about released books, check out Sable books here.