Who We Are
Young, Black & Lit was started by book lovers who understand the critical importance of reading and representation in the lives of children. Our mission is simple: increase access to children’s books that center, reflect, and affirm the experiences of Black children.
What We Do
Young, Black & Lit provides children’s books featuring Black characters to youth at no cost to the youth or the families. We do so through monthly donations to schools and organizations serving youth, partnerships with organizations seeking to make an impact, and pop-up community book fairs.
Why We Do It
Study after study has shown that increased access to books in the home has a significant impact on children’s reading achievement. Source: “Access To Books,” Scholastic
Studies have also shown the critical importance of representation in children’s literature. Many education scholars agree that when books serve as mirrors, allowing children to see themselves, their families, and their communities reflected, children feel valued. When those same books serve as windows, allowing children to see the similarities and differences they have with other cultures, children feel connected.
(See “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Doors” ).
In a world that too often undervalues the beauty and brilliance of Black children, Young, Black & Lit aims to change the narrative. We are an organization that is rooted in love: love of children, love of reading, and love of Black culture. Young, Black & Lit makes it easier for children to access quality books featuring Black characters by removing the cost and doing the research to find books that affirm the varied experiences of Black children; building at-home libraries, self-esteem, and life-long readers, one book at a time.
A Message From Our Co-Founder,
In 2018, I walked into a major bookstore to find a children’s book featuring Black girls for my niece and it was such a frustrating experience. After more than 30 minutes scouring the shelves full of books featuring animals and children who looked nothing like my niece, I left empty-handed and saddened at the thought that it would not be easy for my niece to see herself in the stories she read.
I was determined to make sure that children in my community had access to children’s books featuring Black characters so I started making small personal donations of books to local youth-serving organizations. As I continued my small but mighty effort, my husband Derrick believed that this could grow into something bigger and make a real impact on children and our community. With our determination and vision combined, Young, Black & Lit was born.
We are proud of the work that we do and look forward to expanding and bringing more culturally relevant books to children everywhere.
Digital Community Specialist