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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Yes Teens
College student creates a mobile directory of 600 books that prioritize diversity
    2017-April-5  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    分享文学作品中榜样的力量 — 美国女大学生Kaya Thomas和她的读书app

As a kid, Kaya Thomas enjoyed reading. “No matter how old I was, what I was going through, how I felt in any moment, a book was always a means of escape” she wrote in a blog post in 2015. “A way to dive into a new world and become a new character.”

    As a self-professed “nerdy black girl in high school,” Thomas’ love of books, and the escapism they afforded, only grew. Something changed in those high school years, though. As a mature reader, she began to pay more attention to how the characters in her favorite books were described — namely, how they were meant to look.

    “When I was a teenager I began to realize that a lot of the books I read didn’t have characters that looked like me,” she’s since admitted. “Realizing that made me feel invisible.”

    So as a student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, the United States, Thomas decided to do something about her sense of invisibility.

    Not only did she search the Internet, compiling her own list of books written by authors of color that put characters of color in primary storylines, she learned to code so that she could share her database with other young readers.

    After taking part in a Black Girls Code hackathon, and learning the ins and outs of iOS during an internship, Thomas devised an iPhone app that functioned as a directory of 300 books showcasing characters of color.

    “When young people don’t see themselves represented positively in books, TV, movies and other forms of media, that erasure really harms self-image and how you perceive yourself as you grow up,” she added.

    Thomas’ app — We Read Too — launched in 2014 and has since grown to include over 600 relevant books. It’s also attracted over 15,000 iPhone users, who’ve downloaded the free app and suggested 1,600 other titles be added to the database. And Thomas wants to meet their demands.

    She now has a few objectives in mind: hire someone to review the books users suggest and grow the database to include 1,000 titles, create an Android version of We Read Too and initiate a UI redesign, and create a website version of her directory.

    “My goal for We Read Too is for it to be the primary directory that contains thousands of works by authors of color of various genres,” Thomas explained. “I want to celebrate these authors and for them to always have a place where their work is celebrated and showcased.

    Thomas describes the response to her app as overwhelmingly positive. She’s seen downloads from all over the world, with parents, educators and students praising the database in reviews.

    As a rising developer, Thomas recognizes the essential role art and culture play in tech communities. Books and music, she says, were just as important to her experience as science and math. Because of that, she seems to favor the STEAM acronym over its shortened cousin.

    “I think a lot of folks don’t realize that STEM needs the creativity and mindset that comes from the artistic community,” she concluded. “The two fields are linked and one should not get more support over the other.” (SD-Agencies)

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