Monday, 5 May 2014

Diverse books will not sit on complacency's lap

BookCon is a readers’ convention organized by Book Expo America in New York. When BookCon organizers announced an all-star line up of children’s writers-- including Jeff Kinney, James Patterson, Rick Riordan and Lemony Snicket -- they inadvertently provoked an uproar. All 30 writers (and the one cat invited) were white.
“There are more cats than people of color scheduled” for BookCon, Jeff O’Neal, the founder of the website BookRiot, wrote soon afterward.
In response, a group of 22 authors, publishers and bloggers launched a We Need Diverse Books campaign. “Now is the time to raise our voices into a roar that can’t be ignored,” the group’s manifesto declares. “We need to spread the word far and wide… So that the organizers of BEA and every big conference and festival out there gets the message that diversity is important to everyone.” 
The campaign launched on Thursday and in less than 24 hours had already gone viral, Publishers Weekly reports.
“Even before the official launch time, the hashtag, #WeNeedDiverseBooks, had gone 'viral,' with 27,796 Tweets from 8,988 contributors recorded at 10:45 a.m.” Publisher’s Weekly wrote. “By 5:00 p.m., there were 46,672 tweets from 13,459 unique contributors, with 82,272,930 timeline deliveries…”
On Friday morning, there were hundreds of new tweets being added each hour.
“It’s kind of lit a spark in people,” the YA author Ellen Oh told Publishers Weekly. “All of these voices are coming together.”
The author Jodi Picoult wrote “#WeNeedDiverseBooks because fiction reflects the world, and thankfully, wonderfully! -- the world is not monochromatic or uniform.”
Hundreds of supporters on Twitter and Tumblr answered the campaign's call to post pictures in support of literary diversity in children's literature. The Oakland Public Library posted a group picture of its students holding a sign with the WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag. 
In New York, the children's art center Hannah's Studio posted a photograph of a collection of children's books featuring African Americans on their covers. And the children's author Miranda Paul tweeted a sign that proclaimed: "Kids might not judge a book by its cover, but they will judge themselves by a book's cover.",0,2543838.story#ixzz30nMK3xyH

We are so right to push for diversity. We need people to cultivate our voices and our idea's instead of ignoring and silencing. Like many ventures it is only a very small step towards the longer journey, a journey that we still must tread.
Lack of racial diversity holds hands with sexism, ageism, class-ism, homophobia. What is needed is to take it head on and not just when it affects you.
But as a parent, teacher, writer or creative person we can all keep it in the news and in our articles and not allow it to peter out. as a fan of hope and equal equality, Sherington word we are all the same, feel the same, want the same dreams, allow the oneness to grow. To be a road well travelled. Diversity will be included in the race. 
Maybe the place hasn’t been invented yet, that place beyond diversity. We often define movements by what they’re against, but the final goal is greater than the powers it dismantles is deeper than any statistic. It has no face or name, it just has a commitment to reach equity so broad It’s commitment is strong and everlasting.
We can open ourselves to the truth about where we are and where we’ve been. Instead of holding tight to the same old, failed patriarchies, let’s walk a new road, speak new languages. Today, let’s imagine a literature, a literary world, that carries this struggle for equity in its very essence, so that tomorrow it can cease to be necessary, and disappear.

When events completely ignore diversity, it’s not just a slap in the face to minority and underrepresented authors, it’s harmful to all our kids because diversity is good for everyone.So the need is to focus on the change , and move forward. the worst thing would be to sit on complacency's lap again. 

Here are a pick of books I found while researching For children's literature in a diverse children's world.  We need more because all children should see themselves in our books! We want our bookshelves to be about the whole world and not just a section of it.     


For young children 

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