While showing support on social media to the Black Lives Matter movement shows solidarity, it’s the action that is going to cause a real ripple effect.
And one rogue individual is pledging his support by looking to change the education system as we know it and teach future generations about both black and white heritage.
Scotty Emmons, aka local champion, has started an initiative to get books into primary schools to help children read about race.
Kickstarting a GoFundMe page, Scotty – with the help of a teacher friend – is now on a mission to raise money so that they can collate a bundle of books that any primary school library would be proud of having on their shelves.
And it looks like the sample bundle, of 22 books which totals £275, will be making its way into schools faster than Scotty ever imagined as he has so far accrued £11,000 in donations, not to mention an affiliation with the Billionaire Boys Club clothing company and a currently undisclosed organisation who will be sourcing the books.
Over at Uspire, we were lucky enough to catch-up with Scotty to hear about his Help Our Children Read About Race campaign.
Speaking about the idea, Scotty explained: “I had just returned from a Black Lives Matter protest march in London and felt I needed to do something direct.
“At the same time, a friend of mine that happens to work in a primary school, commented online about a list of books on race that she thought would be beneficial to her school.
“I told her if her school wouldn’t purchase them, then I would donate them to the school. Another teacher friend said she’d also like them for her school and the lightbulb went off.”
Scotty then priced the book package by simply researching online, before going on to set up his GoFundMe page and encouraging friends and family to donate.
Overwhelmed by the response, having initially only planned to help two schools, Scotty has now received calls from all over the country with his books bundle in high-demand.
He continued: “The funds that I have raised can help 50 schools, though there are 16,000 primary schools in the UK.
“My hope is that news travels between schools of how successful these books are, and other schools decide to make room in their budgets and purchase them themselves.”
Scotty, whose campaign has now received over 400 individual donors at the time of publication, is hopeful the initiative is adopted across the country.
He added: “From the children’s perspective, I want them to have the necessary literature to learn about each other and see every child in the classroom represented in their library.
“For the adults, I think we all need to be looking in the mirror at times like these. Asking ourselves are we all doing ‘enough’? Because sadly, for everyone the answer will be no.
“I’ve tried to create a safe space on my social media where people can ask questions and seek advice on how I’ve got to the headspace I’m in. I’m still getting things wrong daily, but it’s important to let people know that that’s okay, if we’re willing to listen and learn.”
While Scotty said he would be quite happy to disappear into oblivion again once the initiative can take care of itself, something tells us this campaigner could have a few other tricks up his sleeve to improve education and help black people be heard.
For the full list of sample books, see below:
We Troubled the Waters, by Ntozake Shange
Nelson Mandela, by Kadir Nelson
All the Ways to be Smart, by Allison Colpoys
One Day, So Many Ways, by Laura Hall
Islandborn, by Junot Diaz
We March, by Shane W Evans
Rosa Parks, by Lisbeth Kaiser
When I Was Eight, by Christy Jordan-Fenton
If the World Were a Village, by David J Smith
Desmond and the Very Mean Word, by Desmond Tutu
Like the Moon Loves the Sky, by Hena Khan
If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks, by Faith Ringgold
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, by Weatherford Carole Boston
Just Like Me, by Vanessa Newton
The Story of Ruby Bridges, by Dr Robert Coles
The Soccer Fence, by Phil Bildner
That Is My Dream!, by Langston Hughes
Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History, by Vashti Harrison
Lillian’s Right To Vote, by Jonah Winter
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World, by Susan Hood
Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly
My Perfect Family, by Timus Radford-Mathurin
For more info, click here: Help Our Children Read About Race.