Marley Dias, a fifth grader in New Jersey, was sick and tired of reading the same old books about “dogs and white boys.” And while the avid reader understood why her teacher assigned those books because he could connect with them, she herself didn’t connect, she told Fox News 29.
So instead of waiting for her teacher to diversify the curriculum, from the advice of her mother Janice Dias, she created the book club campaign #1000BlackGirlBooks where the premise is to find books where Black girls are the main protagonists and not the sidekick or a character on the peripheral.
So far, Dias has collected 400 books and is nearly halfway to meeting her 1,000 book Feb 1 goal, says the Philly Voice. Her book club is also part of Philly’s GrassROOTS Community Foundation Super Camp for young girls whose goal is to “empower and improve the health of impoverished’ girls middle-school-aged and younger.”
Dias’ mother told Philly Voice that living in a mostly white suburb, it’s important for people color, especially Black girls, to be able to see themselves as heroes and game-changers.
“For her, identification is a bigger deal. … For young black girls in the U.S., context is really important for them — to see themselves and have stories that reflect experiences that are closer to what they have or their friends have,” she said.
The eleven-year old, who dreams of being a magazine editor, isn’t new to greatness and success. She was recently awarded a grant from Disney Friends for Change to served food to orphans in Ghana.
Most important, she hopes that she can serve as an inspiration to other girls who want to make a difference in the world too.
“I’m hoping to show that other girls can do this as well…I used the resources I was given, and I want people to pass that down and use the things they’re given to create more social action projects — and do it just for fun, and not make it feel like a chore,” she told the Philly Voice.
And the praise keeps rolling in for Dias.
Like our lives, Black stories matter too.
Watch a video of the Dias family on Fox29 News here.