Asha Grant was always a bookworm. As a little girl growing up in Inglewood, she spent hours poring over stories like Debbie Allen’s “Dancing in the Wings,” Sandra Cisneros’ “The House on Mango Street” and Veronica Chambers’ “Marisol and Magdalena.” Her parents were delighted, but also frustrated by how challenging it was to find stories about young Black children.
“I just remember my mom searching for books that had girls that looked like me in them,” Grant said during a phone interview. “The labor that it takes for you to try to create that safe space for your child is just not fair.”
Grant has been working to make books with non-white protagonists more accessible. Last year, she founded L.A.’s division of the Free Black Women’s Library,