January 20, 2016

#1000BlackGirlBooks

This is a very inspiring story I wanted to share. Representation REALLY MATTERS. I’ve posted on this topic before, but it’s really important for all our kids, and especially black girls to see themselves as lead characters in books.

I recently learned about Marley Dias, an 11-year-old girl who is launching a book drive to increase books with Black girls as lead characters! This story about Dias comes from the Philly Voice:

11-year-old Jersey girl launches #1000BlackGirlBooks

Campaign collects books in the name of social action

“In the past year, Philadelphia native Marley Dias has successfully written a proposal for (and received) a Disney Friends for Change grant, served food to orphans in Ghana and recently launched a book club.

Dias is 11 years old.

“I’m hoping to show that other girls can do this as well,” Dias told PhillyVoice. “I used the resources I was given, and I want people to pass that down and use the things they’re given to create more social action projects — and do it just for fun, and not make it feel like a chore.”

Dias’ latest social action project is the “#1000BlackGirlBooks” book drive. Frustrated with many of the books she’s assigned in school, she confessed to her mother during dinner one night that she was unhappy with how monochromatic so many stories felt.

“I told her I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” Dias said, pointing specifically to “Where the Red Fern Grows” and the “Shiloh” series. “‘What are you going to do about it?’ [my mom] asked. And I told her I was going to start a book drive, and a specific book drive, where black girls are the main characters in the book and not background characters or minor characters.”

(Read more here.)

There are NO excuses!

Stories like these are inspiring because they show us how much we underestimate the power and leadership of the youngest among us. More important, if an eleven-year-old can make such a big impact, there are really no excuses for us adults. What change are you waiting for? What are you willing to do to make a better world?

You can start by donating to Marley’s book drive! If you’d like to contribute, book donations can be sent to 59 Main St., West Orange, N.J., 07052, Office 322.

What do you think? How does Marley inspire you?

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About alimcollins

Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.

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Bookworms, Race & Racism

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