As a child, I would frequent my local library and get lost in some beautiful texts for days at a time. I know that without this, my future would have looked very different. However, with so many libraries closing around the UK - almost 130 reported in 2018 - access to books can become increasingly difficult.
During this pandemic book sales have skyrocketed. According to the BBC sales of fiction rose by a third, while children's education went up 234% to the third-highest level on record. Many people have been in fortunate positions to buy books that they'd love to read.
But due to barriers such as economic and societal, not everyone will have the chance to explore the texts that they're interested in. Movements across the world calling for racial equality have resurged discussions on how the stories, histories and experiences of people of colour have been written out of our national narrative through our education system.
For years authors of colour have been writing extremely important texts that bring light to our 'hidden' histories and experiences. However, the education system continually fails to recognise the importance of these books and by extension, our voices.
No one should be denied the opportunity to increase their education and learning due to financial restrictions. Therefore, I am fundraising to buy books that explore the experiences, stories and histories of people of colour for those who cannot afford to purchase them, or those who have difficulties reading books online due to disabilities.
The idea for this came off the back of work with publisher Verso books, who I worked with to give away physical copies of books from their 'Abolition and Black Struggle' reading list. Kind donors began to come forward to donate books or the costs to purchase more, so I hope that through this fundraiser we can get even more vital books out to people across the UK.
All money raised will go towards purchasing the books and sending these to the recipients.
How will it work?
During and after the period of fundraising, we will be asking people to contact us (there is a button to contact at the bottom of the page) if they would like a book that they otherwise cannot access. The books will then be purchased online and sent directly to their houses - this data will not be shared with anyone.
This will be a process based on trust and community spirit in the hopes that no one will claim a book if they are in a position to purchase themselves or do not have accessibility issues. We, therefore, won't be asking anyone to explain their circumstances or prove them as this would unnecessarily traumatic and uncomfortable for people.
We will ask that everyone who comes forward either sends some suggestions of a book that they'd like to read or we'd be happy to recommend some texts based off of our curated reading lists , put together by authors, educators, bloggers and activists.
If donors also have suggestions, we'd be happy to add them, as long as they do not promote any racist, right-winged, ableist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or any other bigoted views.
Transparency - this fundraiser will be continuously updated to show how the money has been spent.
Thank you to everyone who has made it this far down the fundraiser, any amount at all that you can offer would be greatly appreciated! If you cannot afford to donate, please share this fundraiser on your platforms and with your friends and family.
It is the hopes of many that educational inequality becomes a thing of the past.
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- daniel lucia
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