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We Read Too app developer Kaya Thomas explores trends in Black literature

 With her app We Read Too, independent developer Kaya Thomas found a way to combine her love of coding and literature to make stories by authors of color more accessible to young people around the world.

Somewhere at the intersection of math and science, and reading and writing, Kaya Thomas discovered a new lane for expressing herself: coding.

“Coding is a mesh between the logical and the creative, because the act of writing code can also be like writing poetry or something else,” Thomas says. “You’re also actually building something when you code, so it’s a really creative process.”

Thomas, who is both an iOS developer for the meditation app Calm and an independent app developer in the App Store, launched We Read Too in 2014 to bridge a gap in literature she noticed as a teenager.

“I was going to the library and bookstores and book fairs in school, and I would see a very specific set of books,” Thomas says. “By the time I got to high school, I started to get really frustrated wondering why there weren’t any books that I was being exposed to that had Black characters, or were by Black authors. I started doing my own research and realized that those books existed — they just weren’t on bestseller lists, or displayed in the library or at the bookstore.”

Kaya Thomas.


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