Out of the mouths of children come truths adults shrink away from saying, acknowledging or handling. Recently one such child’s truth highlighted the very reasons Lori Leak is such a necessary and unique character in children’s literature.
New Jersey, (USA) fifth grader, Marley Dias was clearly unsatisfied with the lack of diversity in the chiildren’s books she was being assigned to read at schol, so she courageously decided to call for a change, launching the #1000BlackGirlBooks social action project in November 2015.
The project calls for 1,000 books with Black girls as protagonists — not as background or minor characters — to be donated by February 11, when Dias and her fellow student organizers will take the books to her mother’s hometown of St. Mary in the country of Jamaica.
“I was sick of reading about White boys and dogs,” Dias explains in an interview with PhillyVoice.
“My parents have taught me the value of reading and self-love through books that have characters that look like me and talk like me,” she said in a statement. “I want to make sure other Black girls around the world can see and love themselves, too, through these books.”
Lori Leak IS #1000BlackGirlBooks
“Lori Leak Travels to Paris” is a story which features a Black girl as the main character and reveals her to be an intelligent, curious, adventurous herione. She also travels from the USA to Europe, making it clear that it is both a possibility and reality for Black girls to travel freely around the world.
Currently we are still raising funds to get present Lori Leak Travels to Paris at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in April 2016. If you would like to donate to the campaign, you can do so here: Send Lori Leak to the L.A. Times Festival of Books