Age Ain’t nothing but a number!
Marley Dias at the age of 11, realized that in her school library there wasn’t enough books with characters that looked like her. All the princesses were white, all the little girls who had fun adventures had blonde hair and blue eyes, or white boys and their dogs, and Marley had enough.
In 2015, Marley launched her #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign. Her goal was to collect and donate 1,000 books that featured Black girls as the main character. Two years later, Marley has collected over 9,000 books and has a book coming out of her own.
“Frustration is fuel that can lead to the development of an innovative and useful idea,” she said. She also decided to ensure that other Black girls like her were able to enjoy these books, so she decided to create a resource guide, collect and then donate these books to other communities in need, and then write my story.
At only 13, Marley is a very well-spoken young leader who articulates her vision and her story very well. This year she spoke at the Forbes’ Women Summit in New York City, where she was able to shed light on her campaign it’s success.
According to the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, only 8.4% of 3,400 books published in the U.S. in 2016 had an African American main character, and the percentage got smaller and smaller for Latino, American Indian or Asian/Pacific characters.
Marley’s debut book, “Marley Dias Gets It Done – And So Can You,” will be released in January of next year.
“Innovation comes from, one, acknowledging yourself; two, studying and understanding the problem and three, finding a solution,” Marley said. She is a true example of turning your frustration into a useful solution for all. Utilizing your voice and creating change can be done on any level and for any issue.