I am an elementary school librarian in an urban setting in Massachusetts. Through the work of creating a more representative and inclusive library collection for my students, I learned a lot about the politics of the publishing industry, the accepted institutional racism and purposeful exclusion of communities in books and that we should be outraged at the continued disenfranchisement of our children.
Follow me on Twitter: @reflectlibrary

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In the News...

Geez, I have been woefully negligent. But, I am back!
Here's some diversity news...

The Washington Post published, "In the land of make-believe, racial diversity is a fantasy"
Isn't it true? While Amina Luqwin is writing beyond books, looking at media, we all know that characters of color in fantasy are few and far between. While creating a bibliography of middle grade fiction books in my own library that did NOT include historical fiction, the number of books in comparison to the rest of the collection was dismally low. The amount of sports fiction was the highest genre and fantasy/sci-fi was indeed represented by a pathetic amount of titles. Ugh.

"Suffice it to say, our son is a big fan [of Harry Potter]. So it was no surprise when he considered dressing up as Harry for Halloween. But our hearts sank when he quickly added, in a matter-of-fact tone of disappointment, 'But I’m not tan. I’m brown.'"

Here's an interview and article from NPR I found rather interesting, it's a few months old, but worth your ears and eyes, To Achieve Diversity In Publishing, A Tough Dialogue Beats Silence.

...and finally, Hooray! Hooray! Break out the drums! The fantastic organization, We Need Diverse Books, announced that there will be a Walter Dean Meyers award! From Publisher's Weekly,

"The Walter Dean Myers Award, which WNDB representatives have already nicknamed The Walter, will recognize published authors from diverse backgrounds who celebrate diversity in their writing and “[allow] children to see themselves reflected back” in those works, according to WNDB’s announcement to PW. The amount of the award has yet to be determined."

You can support WNDB's Indiegogo campaign that supports this and other initiatives. Check it out!

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