Marley Dias And The #1000BlackGirlBooks Movement

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Jamaican-Cape Verdean 14 year old Marley Dias, named after Bob Marley is an American activist, feminist and founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks.

When Dias was age 11, she complained to her mother that all of her mandatory reading was books about white boys and dogs. She said, “There wasn’t really any freedom for me to read what I wanted”. After talking to her mother, Dias decided to start a book drive, #1000BlackGirlBooks, to bring more attention to literature featuring black female protagonists.

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According to an analysis from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, just 8.4% of 3,400 trade books published in the U.S. in 2016 had an African American main character.  Marley Dias’ book drive was founded to specifically focus on books in which black girls are the main characters, not minor or background characters.  

The #1000BlackGirlBooks goal was to collect 1,000 books to donate for black girls. In just a few months, more than 9,000 books were collected. Many of these books have been sent to a children’s book drive in Jamaica. The campaign also called the public’s attention to the lack of diversity in children’s literature.

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Dias, whose project has been popular all over the world, has now written and published her own book, Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!, in January, 2019. She appeared on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and as co-host of the Girls Can Do program. She interviewed people like Misty Copeland and Ava DuVernay for Elle.com. She has become the website’s youngest editor. 

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In 2017, Dias won Smithsonian Magazine’s American Ingenuity Award in the Youth category. Aside from her book campaign, Dias recently received a grant from the Disney Company and travelled to Ghana to provide food for orphans. With her project being popular across the world, Dias has also been to many influential places, including the White House where she was a speaker at the United State of Women Summit, alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

Culled from Wikipedia, Face2faceafrica.com & Forbes

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