Former teacher working to collect more diverse children's books

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jan 21, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Black Book Project was launched at the beginning of 2021 by former teacher Meredith McKinney.

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.

This story was originally reported by Kelsey Gibbs on