Marley Dias Talks #1000BlackGirlBooks

February 10, 2016 - New Hampshire Primaries & Marley Dias 02/10/2016 Views: 19,949

Marley Dias chats about the overwhelming response to her diversity-oriented book drive for her New Jersey elementary school. (6:05)

Welcome back.

There's been a lot of talkthe last few weeks

about, uh, #OscarsSoWhite,

but recently a girlfrom New Jersey

noticed something elsewas so white as well.

REPORTER: Her name is Marley Dias.

When this special little girl from New Jersey

noticed that none of the books she was assigned to

in her fifth grade reading class--

they ever featured little girls who actually looked like her.

Wow. I don't know which is more surprising,

that there weren't bookswith girls that looked like her

or that there are booksin New Jersey.

I mean, I have...

Kidding, New Jersey!I'm kidding!


Now, this is the kind of storywe love to cover on our show,

because this underdog tackledthis real problem

in an incredible way.Get this-- Marley told her mom

she was "sick of readingabout white boys and dogs."

Welcome to my world, Marley.

Welcome to my world.

But to fix the problem,Marley started a book drive

called 1,000 Black Girl Books,

and her goal was to collect1,000 books about black girls.

And she did it.And now she's donating the books

to her school,as well as a school in Jamaica,

so that black girls everywherecan enjoy books

about themselves, too.And because the campaign

was such a success,she's not stopping there.

The more books she gets,the more she'll give

to schools all over New Jersey.

She's like the Johnny Appleseedof books

not about Johnny Appleseed.

But this girlis so inspirational

that we couldn't thinkof a better ending to this story

than to talk to Marley herself.

So please welcome Marley Dias,everybody!

-♪ -(cheering and applause)


-Hey, Marley!-Nice to meet you.

Have a seat right here.

I know. Awesome.

Uh, so great to have you here.

-Thank you.-Such a cool story.

So, you were reading, uh,stories about white boys

-and their dogs. Right?-Yes.

So explain that to me,how that inspired you.

So, it really did,because I was reading, um,

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls,

I was reading the Shiloh series,and I read Old Yeller,

-and, basically, Where the... -Right. Old Yeller,

-really, really sad. Yeah, yeah.-Yeah, it is.

But I read, um, Where the Red Fern Grows, and that's about

a boy who saves his moneyto buy a dog to help him hunt.

And then the Shiloh seriesis about a boy who finds a dog

-and uses him on a farm. And Old Yeller is about a boy -Right.

-who finds a dog andthen uses him on a farm. -Yeah.

So they were all reallythe same.

-But I noticed that when I wenthome and read the books -Yeah.

that I wanted to, like,about black girls,

they were all different. Like,sometimes I was reading about

student council. SometimesI was reading about a girl

who went to Africa.So it was always different.

-It was never, like, the sameplot I was hearing over -Yeah.

-and over. -And these booksweren't in your schools.

-They weren't in my school, no.-Right. Man, interesting.

-And-and your name is Marley.That's such a cool name. -Yes.

-Were you named after BobMarley? Really? -Yes, my mother

is Jamaican, so she named meafter Bob Marley.

Wow, that is amazing,'cause it's-it's ironic...

-(cheering and applause)-Well, they're clapping.

What's ironic to me isthat there's actually a movie

called Marley and Me about a white boy and his dog.

-Yes, I know.-It's kind of ironic, you know?

Have you ever thoughtof collecting 1,000 movies

and giving them out to schools?

Yes. That would be an idea.

So let me ask you a question.So why do you think

it is important to read a bookwith someone who's like you?

Like, what was it that reallymade that important to you?

Well, it really was because whenyou read a story about a person

that you can connect with...So, like, you host a TV show.

-Yeah. -So, if you were to reada book about a black man

who hosts a TV show,then you would remember

-whatever he learned so youcould use it on the show. -What?

-Could you go collect someof those books, maybe? -Yes.

Could the, uh... could the blacklate-night host have a dog?

Maybe, yeah. If you want.

Um, how-how surprised were youthat there were so many books?

'Cause you collected... Howmany books have you collected?

-Uh, about 1,000. -Wereyou surprised how many books

-there were out there?-Yes. I knew that there was

a lot of children's books,because when you're a kid,

they push reading so much,for you to learn all that stuff.

But when you get older, like,books become, like, scarce,

and you only readnormally one type.

So I was like, "Whoa, I didn'tknow that I was missing out

on so many books in my school."But... Because when I get older,

I just kind of have to readbook club books about white boys

and their dogs, and it justkind of... it becomes, like,

-all of my day. So... -I betthere's a book club out there.

"All right, this is the WhiteBoy, Dog Book Club, everybody.

Uh, today's book, White Boy and His Dog."

Have you...What has been the action...

the reaction withyour classmates and everything?

-Well, they've been really proudof me. -Oh, cool.

So they've been, like,high-fiving me and saying,

"Congrats on your 1,000.I hope you get 1,000 more."

So they've beenreally supportive for me.

Have any white boys with dogscongratulated you?

-Yes, actually, they have.-Really?

Because sometimes they're sickof reading those stories, too.

That's hilarious.

They're like, "Finally!

-Finally, a different story!"-Yeah.

That's great. Um...

Uh, now, it's interesting,'cause, uh,

I love the selflessnessof what you're doing.

-Thank you. -You know,'re getting all these books

and you're giving them all away,you know,

-finding homes for them.Have you ever, uh, -Yeah.

found, uh, any booksthat you really wanted to keep

-or hang on to?-Yes. Like, half of them.

You haven't secretly,like, pssh, like,

-put 'em under your bed, thatkind of thing? -May... Maybe.

Really? Seriously?

-Yeah.-It's just between us.

-Yeah. -What-whatwas one of your favorites?

Well, my favorite-- I have readit-- it's Brown Girl Dreaming

-by Jacqueline Woodson.So, it's a... -Oh, nice.

like, a book in poetry formabout a girl who lives

in the 1960s and '70s during JimCrow laws and stuff like that.

And she talks about her lifein South Carolina and New York

-and how it's different and herfamily. -Well, that's awesome.

Look, Marley, we... you know,we love to keep it 100 here

on this show. Or as I liketo say, keep it "a-hunned."

Right? So... And you've kept it100 more than anyone

in the community, sowe're giving you our brand-new

-Keep It 100 Gold Award here.-Oh, my God! Thank you!

Keep It 100.It's our highest honor.

-On behalf of The Nightly Show, I want -Thank you so much.

to give you the first evergolden 100. Right there.

And this is foryour-your school administrators

who didn't have those books.They get a lot of weak tea.

-Right there.You can give that to 'em. -Okay.

On behalf of The Nightly Show, weak tea, okay?

-Thank you.-Please give it to them.

-Marley Dias, everybody!-Thank you!

Marley, thank you so much! Thankyou so much for joining us!

Thanks for being here!We'll be right back, everybody!

Oh, by the way, here's the book Aya. Did you ever see this one?

-Oh! Oh, my God! That's awesome!-This is another book.

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