Black History Month – Volunteer Story
‘Stories told about young Black people are often the same. So many stories are not being told. Through See Me on the Page, I’m trying to do something free and accessible, that brings people together.’ Crystal, Volunteer.
It’s Black History Month, and this year, the theme is Saluting Our Sisters – so we wanted to share the story of one of our amazing female volunteers who has been making a difference to the local community year-round.
A year ago, Crystal set up See Me On the Page, a community library project where every book has a Black or Black mixed race main character.
‘The aim is to tell a different story to narratives you might see in the media and make books accessible for everyone. In this climate, families don’t have £8 to spend on a book. For some families, literacy is a real struggle, especially if they don’t live near a public library.’ Crystal says.
Since it started, See Me on the Page has been making a huge difference to the lives of young people in Hackney. Crystal has run events with authors, led immersive experiences, worked with local schools, recruited and supported other volunteers, and has grown an impressive collection of books. The project has been hugely successful with lots of children and young people. Some of them said that seeing themselves represented in books made them feel ‘appreciated’, ‘loved’, ‘one in a million’, ‘cared for’ ‘happy’.
To give you a taster of the books on offer, here are a couple of recommendations from Crystal: Amari and the Book Thief, Hey You!, and Oona The Brave Little Mermaid.
Any child or family can come along to the library, volunteer, or attend an event. See Me On the Page is open on Thursdays between 3-5pm at 1 Alpine Grove, E9 7XS.
To support Crystal’s work and See Me On the Page, you can also follow @seemeonthepage on Instagram, or @SeeMeOnThePage1 on X (formerly Twitter).