“I honestly felt like a kid in a candy store as I stood amazed by how many characters looked like me.”
Grand Prairie high school English teacher Nia-Tayler Clark was inspired to start her book subscription company because she wanted her son and Black students she taught to benefit by seeing themselves reflected in literature.
According to the website, BlackLIT is “an intentional effort to motivate, highlight, reaffirm, and empower cultures who have been ‘blacklisted’ from the classroom, specializing in making literacy appear relatable and relevant to students in the black community. We showcase educated men, women, and children of color who are black, literate, empowered, and strong! We do this to inspire younger generations and to keep a love for literacy present in our community.”
For $39.99, customers receive a BlackLIT box containing:
One or more books by an author of color
Two to five products from a Black-owned business
Five writing prompts
BlackLIT currently operates as a mobile bookstore and online store. Clark intends to build the business into a brick-and-mortar shop. “All proceeds will be used to open up a bookstore in the DFW Metroplex to highlight authors of color,” Clark said.
Clark writes that she “was twenty-three years old & Tahj (my son) was about six months when I came across my first collection of children’s books that were “by us, for us”. I had the pleasure of dining at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., and to say that I was happy was an understatement. I honestly felt like a kid in a candy store as I stood amazed by how many characters “looked like me” in their mini library. . . . Suddenly, I was rudely interrupted when I realized how long it took me to actually get to this moment. I refused to let that be my son’s reality. Immediately, I gathered about five books for my son and the BlackLIT seed was officially planted.”
Last month, O, The Oprah Magazine named Clark’s business one of “25 of the Best Book Subscription Boxes.”