Last week, I heard an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live about A’niah Soanes, a nine year old girl who has set up her own book club that aims to teach students about Black history, as well as providing pupils with the opportunity to read fiction books about Black characters. A’niah felt inspired to do this after being told she couldn’t be the character Hermione from the Harry Potter series because of the colour of her skin. Ellisha, A’niah’s mum, described hearing lots of banging and crashing one morning, and found A’niah collecting up all her Black story books to take to school. When asked why, A’niah said she was going to start a book club. Eight children attend each Friday after school, starting with the Year One age group.
Her school is very supportive, although this displays much wider issues within the education system and its failings to include Black history within the syllabus. A’niah declared “it’s quite hard,” to find books about Black characters, or books that even include Black characters, particularly within the scope of children’s books. The next step for A’niah is a Youtube channel, further educating young people about the importance of Black culture.
Image via Geograph