Every week, we’re going to be bringing you a roundup of interesting articles, commentary, and projects dealing with diversity—race, gender, immigration issues, discrimination, and people bridging cultural barriers.
From Genreville, Josh Jasper discusses the problem of lazy sexism and racism, when women and minorities are excluded not due to conscious bias, but due to a lack of awareness and thought. “Oh, it just happens that all the good stories we found were written by men/white people/middle-class people.” That sort of thing. Also see a follow-up post and this bingo card of excuses for racism. It’s talking specifically about fantasy, but the same excuses get used in many other genres.
If you haven’t read it already, the article “See Baby Discriminate” from Newsweek is a must, looking at the research on how very young children see and respond to race and the ineffectiveness of ignoring the issue. Also check out “A Dream Conferred,” written by Jerry Michel for our Race section, for concrete suggestions on how to talk about race with kids.
The folks over at The Brown Bookshelf have opened nominations for their 28 Days Later project, a Black History month project in which they feature a different African-American children’s book author and/or illustrator every day of February. Head on over, write yourself a to-read list based on the nominations, and give them some nominations of your own.