Flint, Michigan native and Sci-fi author, Carlos Hardy, launches a virtual book club for young people of color in hopes of improving their self-image. Today, social media has such an impact on the way young people view themselves mentally, often providing a tantalizing false image of their self-worth. Mr. Hardy always knew that if he wanted to escape the harsh reality of his environment, he would need to use his IMAGINATION! While bullets fled freely throughout the night and drug dealers roamed the streets during the day, his active imagination carried him to places like Paris, Africa, and even Mars. He would eventually find his bearings at Warner Bros. Studios in LA
With the daunting pandemic upon us, our young people are challenged with the peculiar task of learning remotely at home. Mr. Hardy started his virtual book club to help encourage kids to read more, but most importantly to read literature that better reflected their cultural experience. It has been proven time and time again that when kids have access to healthy images of themselves, it drastically improves social skills, critical thinking, and self-esteem.
According to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education, nearly 50% of minority students and youth from low-income communities failed to meet basic reading scores on national test data. Mr. Hardy stands by the sentiment that, “Reading is a one-way ticket out of poverty. It opens worlds!”
With everything that is going on in our world today, what better way to provide children with a healthy sense of self than through reading? “I had to imagine myself out of the hood… I learned to distinctively envision my future by reading books.” Mr. Hardy’s long-term goal is to inspire every child, whether black, brown, or white, to find their value in the pages of his books.
The first book enlisted for the book club is “The “B” Gene”, a story about a young black teen’s investigation into the destruction of HBCU’s all across America.
For more information on Mr. Hardy, and to further discuss his passion for literacy as it relates to young people, I encourage you to visit his website, www.CarlosHardy.com.