Sarah Kamya, a school counselor at PS 191 – The Riverside School for Makers and Artists, located at 300 West 61st Street – has launched a new initiative to spotlight Black authors and Black-owned bookstores.
She was recently in her hometown of Arlington, MA, during the pandemic. On a walk in around Arlington, she stopped to look inside a “Free Little Library” she often visited. Free Little Libraries are book sharing boxes open to the public 24/7, where people are encouraged to take a book for free, or leave a book for others. She immediately saw a problem that sparked her idea: there were no books featuring a character of color! As one of the only Black girls in her school, she realized change could start within her own community, with resources she wishes she had when she was younger.
Little Free Diverse Libraries (LFDL) aims to bring Black stories from Black writers and Black-owned bookstores to young people today. Fueled by the current tide of civil justice, LFDL is set on normalizing Black stories and bringing Black narratives to the forefront, especially for Black youth, who so often cannot find role models in today’s media. The books purchased will fill Little Free Libraries in Arlington, MA, and other communities across the United States to amplify and empower Black voices.
Recently, she discussed her project on Live with Kelly and Ryan!
Kamya is hoping to have a Little Free Diverse Library put near PS 191 (pending approval).
To learn more about the project, follow @littlefreediverselibraries on Instagram. Here, Kamya is raising money via Venmo to support Black-owned bookstores around the country. She has also added an Amazon wishlist through which you can purchase and send books directly.