Young, Black & Lit Impacting Future Generations


( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Young, Black & Lit Changing Narrative in Their Chicagoland Area Through Books

ENSPIRE Contributor: Elizabeth Casillas

To combat the lack of African American representation in books, a Chicago couple took it upon themselves to create a non-profit dedicated to providing children in the Chicago area books with diverse characters.

Krenice Roseman first noticed this lack of representation when she was out buying books for her niece and could not find any which represented her correctly. Roseman then turned to online sellers, where she was able to find a few books with Black main characters. This lack of diverse books is not an issue seen only by Roseman as of 2018, only 10 percent of books featured Black characters, and studies have shown that it is important for children to see themselves represented in books and understand their cultures.

Because of the lack of supply, Roseman started her non-profit, “Young Black & Lit.” The organization started in 2018 and, as of 2020, has donated 6,237 books through community groups, book fairs, and schools. They have two programs, Lit Year and Lit Monthly. Lit Year partners with an elementary school, or a school district, to provide one children’s’ book every month to kids between the grades of kindergarten to 3rd grade. Lit Monthly partners with low-income or Title I schools and offers them 50 free books each month.

Young, Black & Lit prioritize low-income areas to give children an equal opportunity to succeed. A study done shows 60 percent of students in low-income neighborhoods do not have any books at home. There are around 2.5 million children enrolled in school districts with no libraries. This lack of books at home and in the classroom could have a lasting effect on kids considering that books are important to a child’s growth and development.

The pandemic has slowed their distribution, but it has not stopped them from giving back. Community events, book fairs, and businesses have closed, and to cope with that missing link, Young, Black & Lit have started shipping books straight to kid’s homes.

Young, Black & Lit is making an impact on the future generations of the Chicagoland area one book at a time. To donate and support this non-profit, visit their website at