This Week in Diversity: Two Steps Forward, One Holding Back

September started last week, but at least in New York, it’s only today that it’s starting to feel like autumn. Even without the sudden burst of fall, September would bring two things to New York: Fashion Week and the new school year.

Fashion Week is taking us two steps forward, with a burst of prominent Asian American designers winning awards and recognition. This New York Times article traces a shift from a largely Jewish fashion industry to a largely Asian one, in each case spurred by immigrants who work in fashion “first as laborers, then as factory owners, manufacturers, retailers and, eventually, as designers.”

Meanwhile at school, author Nikki Grimes is feeling a lack of progress, as librarians and teachers tell her, “I love your work! I only wish I had more African American students so that I could use your books.” In Color Me Perplexed, Ms. Grimes explains why this is a fallacy and shares a list of some of the books she would never have read had she been given only books featuring children who share her skin color.

Enjoy your weekend! I hope you’ll get outside and take a nice, long walk… moving forward, of course.

One Comment

  1. Posted September 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunatley some people don’t realize how books foster universal experiences and transcend any racial boundary. When we expose our children to an array of literature they have a richer literary experience. As an author of multicultural literature and a 1st grade teacher, I see firsthand that children gravitate to all types of literature. Maybe as adults, we should follow their lead.


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