This Week in Diversity: The Pervasiveness of Racism

Welcome to Black History Month!

Heritage Months have their bad sides and good sides, but we’re starting out this week’s linkup with one of the good things to come out of Black History Month: The Brown Bookshelf‘s Twenty-Eight Days Later project, highlighting a Black children’s book author or illustrator every day in February. Check their blog for great contributors to the field. Today they’re talking with one of our own authors, Natasha Anastasia Tarpley. Shadra Strickalnd, Tony Medina, and Christine Taylor-Butler will be featured later in the month.

Also in diversity-related projects, there’s a new challenge for book bloggers: The People of Color Reading Challenge, encouraging online book reviewers to read and review books by and about people of color. They’re collecting suggestions and reviews.

Moving on to essays looking at the racism and racial tension that often lurk under the surface, we have Andrew Grant-Thomas at race-TALK writing on what wasn’t said in Obama’s State of the Union: how disproportionately the recession has hit women and racial minorities, largely through unconscious bias and barriers built into institutions.

On a similar theme, Ta-Nahisi Coates writes about how race relations in the U.S. are like obesity in the U.S.. It’s a powerful look at how culture and mindset affect actions and outcomes.

Lastly, Love Isn’t Enough brings us an essay on why exposing children to people of different backgrounds isn’t enough: “In this thinking, the very presence of people of color in a community is enough to prove the absence of racism. It is centered on the reality of white people; there is no consideration for the experiences of people of color in so-called diverse environments, whether they indeed face racism.”

If you’re on the East Coast, enjoy the snow this weekend! If you’re not, enjoy not needing to shovel the snow.