11-year-old Marley Dias was sick of only reading books about "white boys and dogs" in school and wanted to read about protagonists who looked like her, so she started a book drive called #1000BlackGirlBooks. Dias, who lives in New Jersey, has an impressive history of social action that includes receiving a Disney Friends for Change grant and serving food to orphans in Ghana.
Dias talked to PhillyVoice, explaining how a conversation with her mom was the spark for this idea. "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.”
She is not the only person who's sick of white men writing about white men, and we applaud her campaign to spotlight diverse literature. She currently has about 400 books.
And, as if you need another reason to love this gal, Marley wants to take her passion for reading into a career in journalism. "I want to be a magazine editor for my own magazine," she told PhillyVoice. Rock on, Marley.
Watch Marley's interview with Good Day Philadelphia below.
You can send books to 59 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052 (Office 322).
Image Via Good Day Philadelphia
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Madeline Raynor is a New York City-based writer. She is a Blog Editor at BUST. She has written for Splitsider, The Billfold, Death and Taxes, Mashable, Indiewire, and Time Out New York. She loves all things Tina Fey. Word to the wise: her first name is pronounced with a long “i,” like the red-haired girl from France. Follow her on Twitter @madelineraynor_.