This post was inspired by a recent trip to Barnes & Noble. It was right after the end of my book-buying ban, so you can be sure I was eager to buy new books again.
I went into the store hoping to find any of these 5 titles:
Malgudi Days – by R.K. Narayan
Consider – by Kristy Acevedo
Ink – by Sabrina Vourvouilas
The Lost Girl – by Sangu Mandanna
Woman Hollering Creek – by Sandra Cisneros
However, the only author I could find in the shelves was Cisneros, which is expected because she has manged to enter mainstream readership after a long career.
I left the store with only one book in hand and very annoyed that this happened to me yet again. Sometimes, I’m not able to find any of my top choices at all. I do request some of them at their front desk if I really want it, but how many times am I supposed to do this? The next time I visit I invariably want a new book but am unable to find it yet again, which means I must request it yet again. It gets tiring.
This is a letter for the well-meaning white authors who are considering including people of color in their stories.
If you are a white author who is serious and passionate about writing ethnically diverse characters into your work, please tread carefully. And please refrain from making your protagonists people of color.
I know, you’re probably groaning and thinking “damned if I do, damned if I don’t.”
Yes, it is a fine and tricky line to walk, but white authors should tread carefully, do lots of research, and must have good and honest intentions if they want their work to be taken seriously by people of color. That all goes without saying.
Now, I do want to clarify that my points are aimed specifically at middle-class, white authors who possess both earned and unearned privilege. At the very least, we can all agree that white, straight, cis-gendered authors from middle-class backgrounds (aka the group most likely to get published) have advantages in the publishing industry that people of color don’t — such as dominating the entire industry.
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As some of you may know, April is National Poetry Month in the United States.
Do you read poems or books of poetry regularly? I frankly can’t remember the last book of poetry I have read. I know, it’s very unfortunate and I should rectify this issue.
But for now, I’ll just attempt to create poetry out of book spines. Clearly, I am not a poet, but I had fun perusing my bookshelves and moving books that had been sitting there for months, untouched and unseen.
I got the idea from Naomi over at Consumed By Ink. I thought it looked interesting and challenging so I tried it out for myself!
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