Blacklit. | NIA-TAYLER CLARK FOUNDER & CEO
I was 24 years old & Tahj (my son) had just turned turned 1, 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. I am sure my excitement to finally see a positive representation of myself had me glowing.
Suddenly, I was rudely interrupted when I realized how long it took me to actually get to this moment. I instantly refused to let that be my son’s reality. Immediately, I gathered about 5 books for my son & the BLACKLIT seed was officially planted.
As I returned to my classroom of 10th graders in Dallas, I soon realized the correlation between the literacy gap and the lack of representation in literature. The turning point for me was when I literally had a student tell me “I don’t read Ms. I’m Black.” It broke my heart; but, it also opened my eyes. It watered the seed. I was now officially on a mission to close the literacy gap and increase representation.
BLACKLIT was started in 2019, in my tiny one bedroom apartment, with my toddler on my hip. It was built with my little teacher’s salary, a few part-time jobs, and tons of prayer. I was able to survive because of the grace showed to me by my customers, as I dealt with the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
What you are witnessing is a work in progress. And, we won’t stop until the mission is complete.
BLACKLIT is bigger than me; BLACKLIT is bigger than any one person or one community.
Knowledge is power AND BLACKLIT is on a God-given mission to empower.
For the past three years, BLACKLIT has been home to the first monthly subscription box to exclusively highlight Black authors and entrepreneurs, helping to support, promote, and bring visibility to Black authors and Black-owned businesses. Inside every box, subscribers receive a book a Black author, a shirt, and 3-5 products from Black-owned businesses. Founded by local educator & diversity/inclusion advocate, Nia-Tayler Clark, BLACKLIT’s mission is to help close the literacy gap, to increase representation, and to cultivate conversations that bring unity across racial divides.