“As a mixed race girl growing up in Oakland, California, I didn’t see the people I knew and loved – my family, my community – reflected in books, television, or other media…
Drawing was a treasure that I tended and cultivated from a young age. By the time I was in high school it was my super power, my weapon against invisibility. I draw people from my community, people who should be seen, but aren’t. I fill holes with the dignity and beauty I know to be true.”
Janine Macbeth daylights as a social justice nonprofit worker, and has moonlit as an artist for justice and educational organizations since 2001. Her first children’s book, Oh, Oh, Baby Boy!, was released June 2013. J9 is a predominantly self-taught artist, though she has studied briefly at the University of Fine Art in Hanoi, Vietnam, Laney Community College, and California College of the Arts. Her formal education was at UC Santa Cruz, where she majored in Ethnic Studies and Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis on racism and identity politics. Janine is of mixed Asian, Black, white, and Native descent. She was born and raised in Oakland, California, where she and her husband are now raising their two sons amidst a supportive community of family and friends.
Janine is also the founder of Blood Orange Press, a small house dedicated to filling representational gaps in children’s publishing.
janine [at] j9macbeth [dot] com