This Week in Diversity: Covers, Cultures, and Cares, Oh My!

We get a lot of bookish news and links from librarian Betsy Bird’s blog, A Fuse #8 Production, and its Fusenews collections of literary links. This week, she brought us a couple stories of covers that we’re happy to pass along. First, we have the cover to PW’s Trends in African-American Publishing issue causing a bit of controversy. Frolab looks at the arguments and asks us to Pick Fros Not Fights!. Second, she leads us to Stacked, where they’re taking a look at a different sort of diversity—or lack thereof— on covers: Where have all the fat girls gone? “Think about all of the covers you see: they’re ALL thin. Every. Last. One. Of. Them. Even if the book doesn’t talk about the weight or shape of a character, the cover makes him/her thin.” Well, not every cover, but she’s got a point.

Moving on from covering books to covering songs, some people are asking, Is ‘Glee’ a Little Bit Racist? They point out that though the cast of characters is diverse, the storylines are consistently about the white folk.

On a more serious note, The New York Times brings us a story of rising gang violence among the Sioux of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and the efforts of many to fight the rise in gang culture by encouraging native traditions.

Race hasn’t come up much in the health care debate, despite a notable difference in the care received by whites as by people of color. Ta-Nahesi Coates highlights this gap and takes a pragmatic if counterintuitive look at why it’s not being talked about.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

2 Comments

  1. Posted January 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Weight is such a touchy issue.
    Just what do we mean by “fat?” I suspect our vision of “normal” is skewed toward the genetically lucky or sadly anorexic body, leaving lots of young people with perfectly healthy bodies feeling “fat.”

  2. Posted January 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    SueNue, I think this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’re right, we prize overly-skinny women and declare that “normal,” codifying it in magazines, movies, clothing designs/sizes, and even the alignment of the Body Mass Index scale. (Look at the BMI Illustrated flickr stream and tell me that it’s accurate. With a straight face.)

    But on the other hand, the US does have an obesity problem, including a childhood obesity problem. And real obesity—not curves, not nice round faces, not dense muscles—does cause serious health problems.


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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lee and Low Books and Renee Ting, Low Siang Chen. Low Siang Chen said: RT @LEEandLOW: FRIDAY! And that means diversity link roundup. This week: Is PW racist? Is Glee? http://bit.ly/5kJ7rE [...]

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