by Jac O'Kody
Black Books Matter is an initiative that champions diversity in books and stories that represent, are written by and educate on the lives of people of colour. Through providing books, community projects and workshops into homes, communities and schools we strive to educate and inspire young people of all backgrounds to accept and amplify diversity.
Statistics show that between 2007 and 2017 only 8.62% of Children's book creators were people of colour.
Books have the ability to inspire young people while educating, enlightening readers about their history or for others truths they don’t live. They also are able to share positive stories of those they may not see of both themselves and others regularly in mainstream society. This is why I believe Black Books Matter is an important way to educate and inspire young people of all backgrounds. The aim of Black Books Matter is to ensure every young person feels unique while creating open minds, tolerance for others and growth; so young people can be accepting and proud of the diverse world we live in and feel their voice is heard.
A Survey carried out in 2017 showed that of all the 9,115 children's books published in the UK that year, only 4% featured a Black/BAME character. In only 1% of books was this character the main character.
- Centre for literacy in Primary Education
We are so excited to be collaborating with Ladies-who-Launch for a fundraiser to help pave the way forward for our second phase of our scheme, here is what we plan to do:
With schools and community groups still closed at large, through outreach work with our communities we plan to get 300 books into homes in the next 2 weeks.
Getting a diverse range of books and workshops into youth clubs, to both educate and start the discussion in an open environment through education and inspiration.
Writing, story telling, spoken word, poetry workshops, writing and illustration mentorships for those aged 16-25.
Setting up Free Little Libraries with the community to allow everyone access to racially diverse selection of books.
So this week on the Ladies-who-Launch Instagram you can join us on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening for 6:30pm reading. We will be showcasing some of the fantastic books we will be sending out and hoping to raise some much needed funds to support the project.
Monday 27th - Rebound
Rebound is beautifully written by New York's Times best selling author Kwame Alexander and explores themes of resilience, picking friends, and making good decisions. It’s poetic storytelling style alongside it’s amazing themes for ages 10+ explores creativity beyond belief.
Tuesday 28th July - SLAY
Slay by Brittney Morris follows the protagonist seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. In her spare time she is part of a community of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the online game, SLAY, in secret.A teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, mainstream media picks up what happened and brands SLAY a racist hub for criminals and for "anti-white discrimination."
Wednesday 29th July - Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
A book full of inspiring black women and what they accomplished written and illustrated by Vashti Harrison.
If you’d like to get involved in any shape or form feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org