From a young age, kids are told that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. 11-year-old Marley Dias is making moves and changes for young, black girls like herself. Dias, who hails from the state of New Jersey, is taking changing the narrative of how young girls perceive black, female characters in books with a new hashtag-inspired book collective.
Tired of the books and reading assignments she was given by her teachers, Dias decided it was time for a change. According to her, she was “sick of reading about white boys and dogs.” As any 11-year-old would, she talked to her mother about it.
“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.”
Out of that conversation, #1000BlackGirlBooks was formed.
#1000BlackGirlBooks is a campaign to collect 1,000 books about young black female characters by February 1. Dias is already halfway to her goal. Once 1,000 books are donated, she plans to donate the books to a low-resources library in St. Mary’s, Jamaica, where her mother grew up.
Dias has written an award-winning proposal for a “Disney Friends for Change” grant, and served orphaned children in Ghana. She is a world changer and a philanthropist, all before she even hits 12.
When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Dias replied, “I want to be a magazine editor for my own magazine. And I’d also like to continue social action. For the rest of my life.”
Help Marley reach her goal by sending books to: 59 Main St., West Orange, N.J., 07052, Office 322.
Dope stuff, Marley.