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18-year-old Sidney Keys III has 3 books that young Black boys should read

Sidney Keys III created a book club at 10 years old

At 18 years old, Sidney Keys III is preaching literacy to young Black boys in America. That led him to create his book club Books N Bros when he was just ten years old, and eight years later, the message is still the same.

Keys was present at the Youth Day Event for The Athlete’s Foot and spoke with rolling out about his book club and the importance of literacy for Black boys.

What is Books N Bros?

Books N Bros is a book club that I created when I was ten years old to advocate for African American literacy for boys ages seven to 13. We’ve now expanded to ages seven to 17, and we’ve been able to reach over 900 boys internationally. We’ve also been able to change it from not only a book club but a subscription-based business where we offer boxes that include a book, curriculum, snacks, and everything that we can fit inside the boxes we put inside there, and we decorate it based on the month or holiday that it’s around. So not only is it a book club, but we’ve been able to curate it into a business, as well as a writing workshop at times for the boys to learn more about English and writing.

Why is literacy important for Black boys?

We may kind of skip over it at times, and just kind of move to sports and other things like that, but you have to be able to read in order to get that big contract when you go to the NBA or NFL. So being able to read and find boys, or even like mentors in the past that you can relate to and look up to because they know exactly what you’re going to go through as a Black man in America, being able to read their stories, and being able to realize what you’re going to encounter is something extremely important.

What are three books that young Black boys should read?

One would be Danny Dollar Millionaire: The Lemonade Escapade. It teaches you about financial literacy as a Black boy, and it’s very relatable. The second would be Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. Personally, one of my favorite books [talks] about the emotions and feeling of losing a loved one to street violence and things like that as a Black man in America and just pursuing the ideas that go in your head of vengeance and being able to find a way to cope with all of that. My third would be The Supadupa Kid by Ty Allan Jackson, which is about a Black boy who became a superhero, and it talks about his story of being a superhero in his community and saving his people.

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