In bid to promote diversity, inclusion and a world of literature that is a bit fairer to black girls, 13 year old Marley Dias in 2015 and 11 at the time kick-started her 1000 Black Girl Books. Stupefied by constantly being exposed to literature that seldom featured black girls as front-line characters, Dias’ objective was simple, to collect 1,000 books starring black girls and to distribute these books to as much people as possible.
A little over two years after making this decision, Dias has been able to collect about 10,000 books, set to publish a book of her own and featured on the Forbes 2018 30 under 30 list.
Dias said about the circumstances leading to her resolution; I had a lot of choices about how I was going to address this problem. Option 1: focus on me, get myself more books; have my dad take me to Barnes and Noble and just be done, live my perfect life in suburban New Jersey. Option 2: find some authors, beg them to write more black girl books so I’d have some of my own, special editions, treat myself a bit or, option 3: start a campaign that collects books with black girls as the main characters, donate them to communities, develop a resource guide to find those books, talk to educators and legislators about how to increase the pipeline of diverse books, and lastly, write my own book, so that I can see black girl books collected and I can see my story reflected in the books I have to read.
Her campaign generated a lot of frenzy and attracted the attention of greats including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres who said about the prodigy, “I have a feeling you’re going to accomplish whatever you wanna do because you’re really smart and I think you’ll be a great boss.”
Dias has also stated that we should Never say Never to the suggestion of her venturing into politics at an older age.