Grade 5 student looks for 1,000 books with black girl protagonists

A New Jersey fifth-grader has gathered more than 1,000 books featuring black girl protagonists, after she noticed most of those available at her elementary school were about “white boys with dogs.

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Marley Dias, started the 1,000 Black Girl Books campaign last fall, after complaining about the lack of diverse reading material to her mother, who demanded to know, “What are you going to do about it?”

“We were never reading books about black girls or any race or different gender for that matter,” Dias told CTV News Channel, adding that it’s important to have diverse role models.

Dias managed to collect about 700 books in the first couple months of her campaign, and surpassed 1,000 after appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month.

A $10,000 cheque was presented by Ellen, which will buy plenty more books featuring black girls. Dias called it a “dream come true.”

The books will be donated to schoolchildren Jamaica, where Dias’ mother was raised.

Details on how to donate are online. For those unsure what to buy, U.S. bookseller Barnes & Noble has put together a list.


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