This Week in Diversity: Heritage

The census, however flawed and necessary it may be, has triggered some great writing and thinking about race and how we define ourselves. From CNN we have two great essays: journalist and filmmaker Raquel Cepeda writes on being Latino and the stories her family has told of their mixed heritage, and author Walter Mosley brings us a poetic look at the 10,000 years of history that led to him.

A different exploration of heritage is being undertaken by two Native American Tribes on Long Island: they’re working with Stony Brook University to recreate their historical languages and hope to teach them to the next generation, bringing the languages back after 200 years of silence.

Zetta Elliott, author of Bird, takes a look at her Canadian origins, her interactions with Canadian publishers, and, of course, race in children’s books—particularly its exoticization, its otherness.

And lastly, Binyavanga Wainaina explores that exoticization in a piece entitled “How to Write about Africa” —actually a list of rules he, and we, wish authors writing cross-culturally would not follow, but that they all too often do. “Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care.

One Comment

  1. Posted April 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I love that Wainaina piece. It’s so funny and so spot on.


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