NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Black Book Project was launched in the beginning of 2021 by former teacher Meredith McKinney.
McKinney is a Book'em board member and volunteer, Metro Schools employee and mother who noticed the urgent need for diverse representation in children's literature.
Since the launch McKinney has collected books featuring black characters for children who would otherwise not have access to books that represent them.
Last year, the goal was to collect 500 books by the end of February 2021. It was quickly exceeded, and more than 1,300 books were donated.
"I launched the Black Book Project, in hopes to be able to increase representation among literature, so that our brown and Black children will understand that they are important, and they should be represented, and they should have an opportunity to own books that represent them," McKinney said.
The mission is to get more children to read, but it's also important that they can see themselves come alive on these pages.
"It's so important to instill in them and have them recognize that they are beautiful, just the way they are. Their hair grows out of their scalp just the way it's supposed to and that's beautiful," said McKinney. "And so really trying to instill that in them at a very early age while promoting literacy at the same time."
McKinney wants to get 2,000 books donated before the end of Black History Month in February.
To help you can donate the books to Book ‘em at 161 Rains Ave Nashville, TN 37203 with the message Attention Meredith McKinney.
The Black Book Project also has an Amazon Wishlist where you can purchase the books and they'll automatically be shipped to McKinney.