LANSING, Michigan – Three Lansing companies are joining forces in a book drive that will provide children with books that portray black characters in a positive light.
The Black Book Drive raises money to purchase children’s books featuring black characters and then donates them to children in the community.
Visual artist Mila Lynn says the hope is that opening the pages will give children a sense of excitement knowing that the characters resemble them.
“I think if the kids don’t have a variety of reading material and I have access to it, well I thought I could just make it accessible to them, sometimes you have to come up with your own solutions,” Lynn said.
“I think as I got older I realized that a lot of books with black and brown characters were about slavery,” Lynn said. “And those negative things and my mind was geared towards that instead of chasing dragons and being princesses and lighter stories.”
Lynn’s company Mind of Mila LLC, along with Skin Studio 211 and the Socialight Society, organized the book drive.
The Socialight Society is a book store focused on the Lansing Black community and that is where the books for the book collection will come from.
“We met Nyshell Lawrence, who owns the Socialight Society, and we just thought, let’s keep it local, let’s keep it local,” Lynn said.
More than 100 books were donated last year, but Lynn hopes to give more this year.
She says the community support has been overwhelming. They have raised over $1,300 so far.
“Last week we had about $200 in donations and I just started giving them out and we’ve been able to increase that quite a bit,” Lynn said. “So I’m glad we have the support of the community.”
The books will be distributed to children on Sunday, February 27 between 12pm and 3pm at Lansing Mall.
If you would like to donate to the fundraiser, click here.
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