Seeking black female role models, 11-year-old launches book drive

Marley Dias. (welovebam.com)

Marley Dias is one of those kids whose achievements can make grown adults wonder what they’ve done with their lives. At 11 years old, she’s already helped orphans in Ghana and received a grant, after writing her own proposal. Now, bored with the stories of “white boys and dogs” she was assigned in school – “Shiloh” and “Where the Red Fern Grows” specifically — Dias has launched a drive for books in which black female characters are the lead, not just in the background. She hopes to gather #1000BlackGirlBooks by February 1 and, according to the Philly Voice, has already collected about 400.

Dias’ project is a part of the GrassROOTS Community Foundation Super Camp for girls, which her mother, Janice helped to co-found. “She’s not growing up in an all-black country; she’s growing up in a fairly white suburb, in a country that only has 12.6 percent of blacks. For her, identification is a bigger deal,” Janice said. “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. And it doesn’t have to be the only thing they get, but the absence of it is clearly quite noticeable.”

Read the full story at the Philly Voice.

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