Where’s the Diversity, Hollywood? 85 Years of the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards will soon unveil the very best in filmmaking today. As the prediction chatter ricochets around the web, our curiosity about the level of racial and gender representation spanning the entire 85-year history of the Academy Awards was our next Diversity Gap study.

Whitewashing Book Covers: A Trip to Barnes & Noble Part II

Over the course of the last academic year, I co-taught a year-long unit that allowed a sixth-grade class to explore prejudices in books and the book industry. After studying how book covers and content can marginalize groups (we studied treatments of race, ethnicity, gender, body image, sexuality, class, ability, and more), we took a field trip to Barnes & Noble—by far my favorite piece of the project. The kids exited the store with steam issuing from their ears.

Whitewashing Book Covers: What Do Kids Think? Part I

In my first year as Children’s Librarian at Bank Street, I worked with two teachers on a project that allowed sixth-graders to explore implicit and explicit biases in publishing. Using book covers as a starting point for discussion, we engaged in conversations about identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, body image, class, and ability as they relate to books and beyond.

Literary Agents Discuss the Diversity Gap in Publishing

Literary agents make up a big part of the publishing machine. Most publishers no longer consider unsolicited submissions, so an agent is a must if you even want to get your foot in the door. Each year, agents review many promising manuscripts and portfolios so it is safe to say they have a good sense of who makes up the talent pool of children’s book publishing. So what kind of diversity are agents seeing?

Where’s the Diversity? 5 Reasons Why the US Government Isn’t More Diverse

In our previous diversity studies on the Emmy Awards, the children’s book field, and the Tony Awards, we interviewed people who actively work in television, publishing, and the theater. We attempted to duplicate this approach for our diversity study on US politics, but with the government shutdown, none of the twelve congress people and senators we contacted responded to our efforts to reach out to them.

True or False? Multicultural Books Don’t Sell

As an independent bookseller, former school librarian, and lifelong avid reader, I crave the day when publishing lists are as diverse and rich as the playgrounds of our nation, and the conversation about representations of diversity in children’s literature is as unnecessary as the question of whether or not women should vote.

Why Hasn’t the Number of Multicultural Books Increased In Eighteen Years?

Since LEE & LOW BOOKS was founded in 1991 we have monitored the number of multicultural children’s books published each year through the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s statistics. Our hope has always been that with all of our efforts and dedication to publishing multicultural books for more than twenty years, we must have made a difference. Surprisingly, the needle has not moved. Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, children’s book publishing has not kept pace. We asked academics, authors, librarians, educators, and reviewers if they could put their fingers on the reason why the number of diverse books has not increased.

Where’s the Diversity? The Tony Awards Looks in the Mirror

Since the Tony Awards will be presented on June 9, 2013, we decided to collect some data to see if a diversity gap exists in the theater. See our infographic below. While we cannot claim expertise in other fields outside of children’s books, we were fortunate to receive valuable insight from playwright/actor Christine Toy Johnson, who has spent the last fifteen years conducting dialogue with the entertainment industry to increase diversity in the theater and beyond.

First Book, Stories for All Project Chooses LEE & LOW

In a groundbreaking announcement, First Book, a non-profit social enterprise launched the Stories for All project. The project’s aim is to introduce a significant number of multicultural books into the hands of low-income children. LEE & LOW was chosen as one of two publishers to be a part of this endeavor and receive a $500,000 award.

Happy LGBT Pride Month!

June is LGBT Pride Month, and throughout this month people everywhere (including President Obama) have been celebrating the positive impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have had in the world. The fight for LGBT rights has always been a matter of civil rights and equality, as our publisher noted in a recent post, […]

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