Black girl book squad adds colour

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.

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (04 July 2016)

Project leader

Marley Dias

Support the Atlas

We want the Atlas of the Future media platform and our event to be available to everybody, everywhere for free – always. Fancy helping us spread stories of hope and optimism to create a better tomorrow? For those able, we'd be grateful for any donation.

‘BAM’ (Briana, Amina, and Marley)

Creative Commons License



Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.
Get World-changing projects and news in your inbox weekly.