INTERVIEW BY: ASHLEY WINTERS
Have you ever had the opportunity to sit down with an extraordinary kid, who had their entire life mapped out at age 11? Whose purpose in life is to bring about change in his community?
Well I have. Sidney Keys lll, founder and owner of Books & Bros LLC, is our newest shining star. In the 6th grade when most kids are playing sports, riding bikes, or just being the average kid, Sidney is creating a space where boys can come and gain a love for reading. And not just any olé book will do. Sidney’s goal is to make sure that African American books are in the hands of the boys who are a part of his book club.
He wants to make sure that our stories are being told as well, and to have books that told a different narrative of the African American experience other than what the media portrays. Like most people of color who were educated in this country, our stories were limited to a chapter or diluted like we were never a part of American History, until now. Sidney has taken Books and Bros and helped establish a platform for these authors, and a haven for all boys.
Attending Ross Elementary in Hazelwood School District, Sidney isn’t just an entrepreneur, he’s a part of the D.A.R.E program, the president of Student Council, and Safety Patrol where he helps other students practice safe habits around school. Plus, he is a photographer in the making and has his own website. Sidney Keys lll, is already a big deal on and off campus!
Books & Bros meet up once a month and take a trip into the world of literature, reading and discussing books about adventures in outer space to riding horses in the wild west. His favorite book thus far is “Danny Dollar Billionaire Extraordinaire” by Ty Allen Jackson, which was the first book he presented at his book club at the local, black owned bookstore Eye See Me.
Sidney started Books & Bros, because he had never seen an African American book club before. Also, he thought it would be fun to read with other boys, plus he knew it would be an opportunity to black and brown boys to read books by African American authors. And it all started when he took a surprise trip to the Eye See Me bookstore.
Sitting down with young Sidney, I felt like I was talking to an adult. He’s wise beyond his years, and at age 11 he is changing the world. In just a few short months Sidney’s story has reached media outlets such as Essence Magazine, The Huffington Post, and CNN. Even icons like Steve Harvey shouted him out.
He now must use a bigger venue to host his book club meetings, which now will be held at the Ferguson Youth Initiative club. Sidney speaks with a plan for his people, and is committed to that plan through action, he talks the talk and walks the walk.
I know you’re thinking what else does this young man have up his sleeve? Well in the future, Sidney plans to spread his business nationally and internationally, especially since he has received calls about Books and Bros from across the world. And while he’s talks about Books and Bros being international, Sidney hopes to one day have his book club virtual as well.
Sidney Keys III, KEEP UP THE WORK GOOD WORK! For more information on Books N Bros, visit them at https://www.booksnbros.com/.