When you were a middle schooler, it’s likely you read either “Where The Red Fern Grows,” “Old Yeller,” or “White Fang” — probably all three. Obviously, American schools love a good story about a young fella and his dog.
In a survey compiled by Lee and Low Books, only 14% of children’s books are by or about people of color, in contrast to the nearly 40% of the U.S. occupied by minorities. One smart little girl decided to do something about that disparity.
Marley Dias has already done a lot in just 11 years on Earth. After winning a grant from Disney, she turned her attention to her own classroom, where she noticed an annoying pattern.
“In my 5th grade class, we were only reading books about white boys and their dogs,” Dias said in a video interview with Fox. “And I understood why my teacher wanted us to read those books, because those were the books he could connect with, but I didn’t necessarily connect with them myself.”
With encouragement from her mother, Dias decided to start a book drive called #1000BlackGirlBooks. Her focus is to collect 1000 books that feature black girls as the main characters.
“I’m hoping to show that other girls can do this as well,” Dias told the Philly Voice. “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.”
Watch her interview with Fox below.
H/T Global Grind