7-year-old girl wins $16,000 for comic book to empower girls of color

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A 7-year-old girl won more than $16,000 at a crowdfunding festival to publish the comic book that she wrote to empower girls of color.

Natalie McGriff created "The Adventures of Moxie Girl" with her mom because she was tired of her natural hair, and she didn't like reading.

"I didn't like (my hair) because I wanted it straight, and I saw everybody with straight hair," Natalie told ABC News. "And reading was boring to me."

Natalie's mom Angela Nixon says her daughter's displeasure was concerning because she was singled out for her hair in school as a child.

"Me being black, of course, I used to get picked on in school for my natural hair, and I didn't want that to happen to my daughter," Nixon said. "I wanted to step in, boost her self-esteem and foster a love of reading in her."

Natalie and Nixon decided to tackle the issue by creating a superhero named Moxie who gets a magical shampoo and saves her local library from monsters who are trying to eat the books.

Both Natalie and Nixon say they hope the comic inspires girls of color who lack representation in mainstream media to love their appearance and to be proud of who they are.

"We want girls of color to know they're awesome, that they have moxie and that they're young queens who should be proud of who they are and who they represent," Nixon said. "Love yourselves, love your hair, your skin color. You're beautiful and awesome."

The mother-daughter duo submitted the comic to One Spark, a crowdfunding platform which hosted a festival earlier this year.

The comic won voting in the "Education" category, netting the pair a total of $16,423.69. Now they're planning to release the book in June, and are working with book stores for distribution.