Jamaica (Port Maria)
Frustrated that black girls are almost never the main character in children’s literature, and tired of only reading about “white boys and their dogs”, in November 2015 an 11-year-old self-professed “girlie tomboy” launched #1000BlackGirlBooks book drive – a movement to collect 1,000 books where black girls are the main characters. New Jersey’s Marley Dias simply wanted everyone to be able to relate to the characters in required school reading.
By February 2016, she had received over 4,000 books and did the major drop off at the small parish of St Mary in Jamaica, where her mother (the co-founder of GrassROOTS Community Foundation) was raised as a child.
Now having far surpassed 1,000, expect big literary things from this nail polish-wearing, Minecraft-loving footie fan as she pressures school districts to change the books that are assigned to students. The #1000blackgirlbooks hashtag has taken off, and Dias continues to pass on donations to other schools where students are experiencing the same frustrations she has.
FutureHero interview: Meet Marley Dias… A real character.