It’s Black History Month, one of my favorite months of the year, and this year I’m thinking about those who are changing the course of history in front of my eyes! Recently, I’ve been drawn to two little sisters who are killing the game, and Marley Dias is the absolute first who comes to mind! Have you heard of her? She founded the #1000BlackGirlBooks Movement and was recently been listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. Did I mention that she’s 12?! She’s spoken at the White House alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, and I feel the need to say it again: sistah girl is KILLING IT! But that’s not all. She’s not only the youngest person to ever be featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, but she’s also been named editor of a new ezine for Elle (yes, the magazine) called Marley Mag. I get goosebumps all over when I think about this young lady and her accomplishements in her young life. Before you start feeling some type of way about how that could have easily been you, your daughter, or some other courageous one in your life, think of a few things that we can learn from Marley and her mom, who helped her to launch this movement!
Marley is a regular girl with a serious passion, just like the young leaders you know. She just wanted to see more books written by and featuring African American female protagonists. Basically, she wanted to read about girls like her, which is also my main motivation for writing. So what’s different about her and the rest of the young people you know: your daughter, your mentee, and your friends? She didn’t stop there! She decided to bring awareness to the issue, and with her mother’s help, she did it fearlessly.
Let’s learn from Marley. How can we help support the young leader in our lives who have so much to offer this world?
- We need to remember that they need a community, a tribe, a mentor, or just one strong mama! I can relate Marley, girl, I’ve got one too!
- We need to recognize the creativity and look to develop it-at any age! The Bible tells us not to let others look down on us because of our youth (1 Tim 4:12). Take it to heart and step out on faith!
- We need to help her seek out a specialized mentor in the field.
- We need to carve out time to dream, brainstorm, plan, and research. We need consistent time! One and done is not going to cut it, and this is where your daughter or mentee may be tested, but that we will enjoy the rewards of greatly if she can see it through.
- We need to launch it fearlessly! You can plan a special event, develop a social media business page and advertise, or host a series of live talks about the product or service you have to offer and create a few demonstrations.
This is hard work! I know that Marley had to put in a lot of long nights early on, especially with trying to balance school, extracurriculars, family time, and the emotional drama of growing up, but she’s enjoying the rewards and her book that’s set to be released is sure to be on the New York Times’ Best Selling List. Your daughter or mentee may want to check out too. There are a few ways you can make it fun for her, though. Have a special snack during those dream and research sessions so that it doesn’t feel like homework. Make it fun by figuring out ways to incorporate her friends by starting a hashtag trend, inviting them to use their talents during the launch, or giving them the opportunity to promote it by wearing a few really cool, free t-shirts that will share the message!
History is being made all around us. Legacy doesn’t require an age limit. Choose to be great today, and support someone in their passions. You may be surprised by how far your reach is magnified! Have you heard of Marley? Are there other young people who inspire you? I’d love to know! Talk back to me and comment below!
-Originally Published February 14, 2018