People across the nation sat proudly as they watched 11-year-old Marley Dias take a stand for something she believed in. The New Jersey 6th grader made headlines by starting a #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign that asked for the donations of books that featured black girls as main characters instead of “white boys and dogs.” Dias has now reached her goal.
Dias managed to collect 700 books on her own through donations from Stacked Books and Barnes and Noble and received the other 300 from outside donations. She’s also made appearances on popular tv programs such as The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and Ellen, where she was presented with a $10,000 check from Shutterfly, according to Clutch.
Now Dias has to find a way to distribute all 1,000 of these books.
“We are having a book festival and donating them to the parish of St Mary in Jamaica where my mother is from,” Dias said, according to Clutch. “I also plan on donating to schools in Newark, Philadelphia and West Orange. The Lee school in Philadelphia, Speedway elementary school in Newark, and in West Orange my elementary school … where my frustration began.”
Being able to see yourself in art may never be as important as it is during the impressionable early years. That’s the time where you start to develop your self-identity and recognize what the possibilities of your future hold.
If you’re forced to mostly read books about people you can hardly relate to, a grand opportunity has been missed. Ideally, #1000BlackGirlBooks will help offer children across the country insight that they couldn’t gain from books like Where the Red Fern Grows or Shiloh. And, the hope is that this initiative brings more attention to the whiteness of mainstream book publishing across generations.
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