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Veteran news anchor, her father debut book in hopes of fighting bullying

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A veteran Indianapolis journalist is now using her storytelling skills in different way.

Andrea Morehead-Allen partnered with her father to write a children’s book. Their goal: address issues of bullying through diversity and inclusion.

The children’s book is called “The Brightest Star.” The main character is a Black child who looks white due to albinism. It’s a condition where someone is born with little to no melanin or pigment in their skin.

The main character in the story is Morehead-Allen’s father, James Morehead.

Thirty years of telling other people’s stories as a journalist primed Morehead-Allen for this moment: telling her father’s story.

“I said, ‘Daddy, why don’t we do something for children?’” Morehead-Allen said.

It’s told through the book’s colorful pages.

James Morehead said, “It helped me to forget or to put in the background some of those pains and hurts.”

Morehead-Allen remembers telling the other kids her dad is Black though his complexion just doesn’t quite match.

“There were a lot of kids growing up who would ask me, ‘Is your father white?’ And as a child it was difficult to explain to kids what an albino is.”

The book recounts 75-year-old Morehead’s story of growing up with albinism, and the trail of bullying from young people and adults. Growing up in the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s as a Black person who could pass for white created somewhat an identity crisis.

He said, “No one looked like me but me, and I was considered abnormal.”

They believe bullying concerns are on the rise, and so are discussions around diversity and inclusion. They call this moment an opportunity to educate and raise awareness. Morehead-Allen said, “While we’re talking about albinism, but really talking about the value and the worth that you have in yourself. Whether it’s your hair, whether it’s the color of your skin.”

Morehead said he hopes young and old readers take a lot from this book, with the most important message: You have value.

“I heard the voice of God say, ‘I created you and I don’t create junk,’ and that was the beginning.”

Eyesight problems are also common for many people with albinism. The pair are creating a foundation that will provide resources for families and help them pay for eyeglasses and other needs.