Attanya: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because I love science fiction and fantasy books, but I’m tired of authors treating dragons and robots and magic as more plausible than black and brown characters
Jennifer: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because… when I was 13 a white girl told me it was selfishthat all of the protagonists in my stories were Latina because she “just can’t relate to nonwhite characters.” She made me feel guilty for writing about people like me.
Aiesha: #WeNeedDiverseBooks because…Black Girls are more than sidekicks or “sassy, ghetto friend”
Facts and Figures About Race/Ethnicity in YA and Children’s Lit:
- 88% of the books on the 2013 Publisher’s Weekly YA Bestsellers were about white protagonists
- 93% of the authors on the 2013 Publisher’s Weekly YA Bestsellers were white authors
- 85% of the books on the 2014 Young Adult Library Services Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list were about white protagonists
- 90% of the authors on the 2014 Young Adult Library Services Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list were white authors
- 91% of the authors on the 2013 New York Times’s Bestseller Lists for YA and Children’s Lit were white authors.
- According to the 2012 Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only 3.3% of books were about African-American protagonists; only 2.1% were about Asian and Pacific Islander protagonists; only 1.5% were about Latinx protagonists; and only 0.6% were about Native American protagonists. That means over 90% of children’s books surveyed were about white protagonists.
Just a reminder that representation is still an uphill battle.
There was a time that I wanted to write stories about my daughter and her adventures. I just suck at writing though
One late reblog to close out Fiction Week!
Today, Emma Watson graduated from one of the most prestigious Ivy League colleges, Brown University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature. She may be best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the movie adaptions of the Harry Potter series, but this young woman was determined to acquire an education—while simultaneously starring in 4 films (two of which were the last installments of the Harry Potter franchise). I just wanted to take a moment and praise Ms. Watson for her accomplishments. You don’t see her in the headlines for drug involvement or rehab or what have you. No. Some associations tied to her name include modeling, designing eco-friendly clothing, education, promoting positive body image, and supporting schools in Africa. To me, this is the epitome of a great role model not only for young girls but for anyone. To borrow a clichéd saying, she’s got a good head on her shoulders. Besides, English literature is pretty darn cool anyhow.
'Cause the power you're supplying, it's electrifyin'!
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