At the end of January we learned about the impressive endeavor of Marley Dias to collect #1000BlackGirlBooks by February 1 and we are happy to report that the 11-year-old activist has reached her goal.
Dias launched her effort in November, “sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” as the St. Cloud elementary school in West Orange, New Jersey student told The Guardian. “I told [my mom] I was going to start a book drive, and a specific book drive, where black girls are the main characters in the book and not background characters or minor characters.”
That’s exactly what Dias has done, collecting 700 books on her own through her efforts and donations from Stacked Books and Barnes and Noble. When Ellen had Dias on her talk show and presented her with a $10,000 check from Shutterfly, her goal was far exceeded. But that doesn’t mean Dias’ work is done. She plans to keep collecting books so that students in other schools who share her frustration can reap the fruits of her labor.
“We are having a book festival and donating them to the parish of St Mary in Jamaica where my mother is from. I also plan on donating to schools in Newark, Philadelphia and West Orange. The Lee school in Philadelphia, Speedway elementary school in Newark, and in West Orange my elementary school … where my frustration began.
“In the beginning, I was concerned we weren’t going to reach our goal, and now there are strangers thanking me for doing this,” she added. “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. It was kind of weird at first that people knew my name and say they heard about the cause and thank me – but now it’s kind of more like the norm. It’s fun.”
Check out Marley Dias on The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore announcing that met her goal below.