Everything about Marley Dias inspires me. Her energy, her smile, her sparkly way of speaking with her eyes all aglow, her love of reading, her desire to personally connect with literature and take action to help other do the same, the fun she obviously has with her hair, her mom…her everything.
It all began when Marley complained to her mom (who is another black girl whom we should highlight) that too many of the books she was reading at school featured white male protagonists. Her mother challenged her with the question “What are you going to do about it?” And with that challenge, Marley’s amazing project #1000BlackGirlBooks was born.
She set out to collect and donate 1,000 books featuring black girls as the main characters and has since collected 8,000 books, spoken at the White House and gotten a publishing deal with Scholastic to write her début book. And now, because of this 12-year-old NJ native’s campaign, you have a place to go to find hundreds of books that feature black girls – check out her searchable database.
“…Black girl books are not just for black girls; they are for all children because not all black girl stories are the same. Teachers, school boards and parents need to make sure that all children have access to these stories. I hope this list of books will help you learn more about the diverse experiences of black girls… ” – Marley Dias
Marley is also using her voice to advocate for social justice and aspires to launch her own magazine so she can use media to promote more socially conscious pop culture.
Follow Marley on Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Andrea Cipriani Mecchi