February 10, 2016
#1000BlackGirlBooks exceeds initial goal
by Taylor Sperry
At the end of January we wrote about eleven-year-old Marley Dias’s campaign to collect 1,000 books “where black girls are the main characters in the book and not background characters or minor characters” and donate them to a low-resources library in St. Mary, Jamaica.
“I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” she explained to the Brandon Baker at the PhillyVoice last month.
Her deadline was February 1st, and after a slew of attention—an appearance on Ellen where Shutterfly gave her a laptop and a $10,000 check, an interview with People magazine, a $3,000 donation from Stacked Books, and donations from Barnes & Noble—Marley has reached her goal.
She told Alison Flood at The Guardian:
“In the beginning, I was concerned we weren’t going to reach our goal, and now there are strangers thanking me for doing this . . . It makes me feel happy because there are strangers on Facebook who are so thankful and say ‘because of this book drive my son wants to do this’ and ‘my daughter wants to do that,’ and I think it’s kind of cool.”
Now that she’s hit her first milestone, Marley is expanding #1000BlackGirlBooks to Newark, Philadelphia, and West Orange—“to other schools where students are experiencing the same frustration.”
Send your donations to:
GrassROOTS Community Foundation
59 Main Street, Suite 323
West Orange, NJ 07052
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.