"My dream is that every black child grows up seeing their realities reflected in books."
As a little kid I was a voracious reader, my favourite books were The Famous Five, Alice in Wonderland, Matilda, and Malory Towers. I would fantasise about eating strawberries and having picnics by the seaside with my fluffy sheepdog, with my hair tied back in a slick ponytail which was a bit weird for a little girl in Nigeria!
It never occurred to me that there could be books which reflected my own reality. I remember one of the first black books I read, it was the Passport of Mallam Ilia by Cyprian Ekwensi. I was in my second year of secondary school and I remember being completely blown away by how amazing it was. We loved that book so much at school, we would compose songs about it and act it out after classes, much to the annoyance of our teachers.
Years later, now a mom to a little girl myself, I was a bit sad to see that things haven’t changed that much from when I was little. There are few children’s books that reflect black or African realities. Only 1% of childrens books published in the U.K. in 2017 featured a black or minority ethnic main character. Statistics are similar in the US. Things are starting to improve gradually but we’ve still got a long way to go.
My dream is that every black child grows up seeing their realities reflected in books and that all children are able to read diverse stories about different experiences. Thanks to all our followers and supporters, we look forward to providing you with representative books.