Whenever I was hurt at school, my grandmother reminded me that knowledge is one of the few things in life that no one can take away from us. And that’s why I had an urge to read. I read all the books my mother bought, all the books in the school library, all the books that I could get my hands on. I read and my grandmother read with me. Then we’d discuss the stories. My grandmother has taught me the importance of not letting anyone control our own narrative from conversations we’d have about the stories we had read together. Every day I learned something new to help me resist and every day those books gave me small revolutions.
Reading so much, allowed me to write and name my own experiences. Naming my own experiences has provided a broader understanding of the ways in which racism manifests itself, the stereotypes that are articulated to keep Black people in places of subordination, racist ideologies, and the hierarchies that racism articulates. Reading enabled me to have autonomous knowledge. A knowledge that shielded my intellect from being deconstructed by the logic of epistemic racist violence deep-rooted in the processes of institutional education. Reading made it possible for me to use writing to reflect my own experiences.
And Twitter was the tool where I was able to say what I think and how I think to many people at the same time.
Tweeting about my daily life, my studies, and my impressions of society made me form a network with thousands of people. The exercise of influence on Twitter, however, needed to serve a purpose greater than the repercussion of my own voice. I needed to act in order to share the small revolutions that books gave me.
On November 20, 2018, Black Awareness Day in Brazil, from a simple Tweet, I started a book sharing network for Black people. It all started with a simple suggestion: You know what would be cool to celebrate Black Conscious Day? You, a white privileged person who self congratulates yourself for advertising as an anti-racist, donating a book to a Black person who needs a book and can't buy it.