Sheroes come in all shapes and sizes, it just turns out this one is an 11-year-old girl from New Jersey: Marley Dias.

Marley came home from school one day and complained to her mum that the only books she got to read at school were about white boys and their dogs.

Instead of consoling her, or telling not to worry about it, her mum asked her:

So, what are you going to do about it?

And so the #1000blackgirlbooks project was launched. With her mum’s help, Marley started a book drive to find 1000 books where the main character is a black girl.

She took to social media with the hashtag #1000blackgirlbooks, where it took off like a literary Apollo 11. (She’s catalogued all the books here, take a look).

When she had collected about 700 books, some big names started to take notice. She was invited to appear on the Ellen show, where she was given a laptop for her writing and a $10,000 cheque to buy some more books. Totally NBD.


In the interview with Ellen, Marley spoke about how she’d like to be a magazine editor one day – because, as she says, “I love to be the boss.” And taking her at her word, Elle US made her an editor-in-residence with her very own ‘zine, ‘Marley Magazine.’ Literally #likeaboss.

Oh, and in addition to being an avid reader, a kick-arse writer, a successful campaigner and a natural on camera, Marley is also a philanthropist – that’s right, she also gives her time and books to charity. She’s organised another book festival and is donating all the books to the parish in Jamaica that her mum is from.

Inspiring much? We can’t wait to see what she’ll do with her next 11 years. And next time something’s bugging us, let’s all channel Marley’s mum and ask ourselves:

So, what are you going to do about it?

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