Today, I read a wonderful story about a young girl named Marley, who is having a book drive to collect 1000 books by February 1, 2016. But Marley doesn’t want just any book. She wants “black girl books,” where black girls are the protagonists, the center, and the emotional core of the novels. Out of the mouths of babes.
When I read this, I immediately opened my laptop to write a blog for Marley, so that I could gush over her action in the way that it deserves (which is more than the 140 characters twitter permits). So allow me the moment to sing her praises.
Yay for Marley, who, at eleven, had the words to voice exactly what she was missing in her reading experience.
Yay for Marley, who didn’t stop with articulating the gap but formulated a plan to be the change she wished to see in the world.
Yay for Marley’s philanthropic goal of stocking a Jamaican library with the books that she collects.
Yay for Marley’s mother, who listened to her daughter and asked the generative questions that encouraged action.
Yay for a social media landscape that I’m certain will ensure that Marley meets her goal.
This story struck a cord with me because I was Marley. I was a voracious reader who tirelessly sought out characters of color in the books that I read. I understand her desire to see stories about girls that looked like her. It’s why I began writing in the first place. I so admire Marley’s tenacity to believe beyond the limitations of what her school’s curriculum offered.
Marley, keep up the good work. We see you. And those of us working on the other side of things will do our best to make sure that there will always be more “black girl books” for you and everyone else to read.