Melia Frazier needs your help collecting 1,000 diverse books

One Girl Scout is on a mission to diversify books within local schools’ libraries, and she’s collected nearly 300 titles so far.

Melia Frazier, 11, said her school had Harry Potter books and the American Girl series, but none of the books featured people who looked like her. Melia is Black.

Her mom, Nikki Thompson-Frazier, supplies those books for Melia at home, but that’s not the case at school.

Frazier’s Black Girl Book Drive is set up to address that problem. The book collection idea stemmed from teenage activist Marley Dias, who started the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign in 2015.

Melia is collecting books until Aug. 14.

Cafe complete with literature:‘How a Lansing couple hopes to hook the public with coffee, books and wine

The project will help Melia win a Girl Scout Bronze award, which is given to those who complete sustainable community projects.

“It goes from little kids to older kids,” Melia said. “There are some picture books and then some chapter books.”

Melia Frazier, 11, a sixth-grader at Windemere Elementary student poses with her book collection box at her parents' Sweet Encounter Bakery in downtown Lansing on Tuesday, Aug.  2, 2022.

One of the books she’s collected is “A Good Kind of Trouble” by Lisa Moore Ramée. Melia said it is one of her favorites that she is reading.

Nyshell Lawrence, owner of Socialight Society, created a space on her bookstore’s website (www.socialightsociety.com/melia) for monetary and book donations for Melia’s project. Lawrence sells books to Frazier’s project at a discount.

“We have a curated list of books that highlight Black girls and they can pick a book there,” Lawrence said. “We have a box in-store for people to place books there. They can make monetary donations for Melia to purchase books to add to the collection.”

Melia Frazier, middle, a sixth-grader at Windemere Elementary, poses for a photo with her parents Terry and Nikki at their Sweet Encounter Bakery in downtown Lansing Tuesday, Aug.  2, 2

Customers can buy books at any store in the Lansing Mall and drop them off in the appropriate box. Another drop box is located at the Lotus Beauty Lounge inside the Meridian Mall.

The books range from young adults to preschool.

“As for Black girls being the major character, here in Lansing we have a Black woman-owned bookstore, so why not partner with them to give exposure to her bookstore, as well as the need for more African American focused literature for kids to know about, for parents to know about, as we start to share the other narrative out there,” Terry Frazier, Melia’s father, said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.