Compare this to US census statistics: Black and African American US population: 12.6% Asian American US population: 4.8 % Native American/Hawaiian/Pacific Islander combined: 1.1% Hispanic: 16.4%
Is this because the publishers only publish white authors, who happen to write about white people? Or is it because other groups don’t write that much? Maybe the publishers ignore them? Maybe it just so happens the books with “diversity” in them are not worth publishing? There is a not to know before we start a banwagon for this. It’s the same with LGBTQ books. They are hard to find, and only written (from what I have seen) by LGBTQ individuals (mostly).
that is the dumbest set of excuses I’ve ever heard. There are plenty of people of color that are writers. You can waltz right into any coffee shop or university English class and the next J.K. Rowling could be sitting there. Finding a good one wouldn’t be an issue. There are plenty of books by white authors that honestly weren’t worth publishing. You know that and I know that. It’s not a ‘bandwagon issue’ this has been an issue since the invention of children’s literature. children need to be able to read books about other cultures and they need to be able to read books written about their culture,
Hi, I wasn’t making excuses for this. I was being hypothetical on why there is a lack of diversity with books. Honestly, if I had to point a finger I would point it at the publishers for not publishing non-white authors as much as they publish white authors. It might even be the education system in that whites typically get a better education. I really don’t know, but before we go and say shit like “THERE IS NO DIVERSITY BECAUSE *insert whatever reason here*!” we need to get the facts straight and find out why where is not diversity.
I was simply stating that it might be non-whites don’t write as much as whites. That might be because (and once again, this is all hypothetical) culture. Maybe non-whites feel like they are not good enough to write so they don’t.
May the publishers only publish white authors because the majority the readership is white? I don’t have statistics on this, but stating the census statistics does not mean those are the people buying books. Publishers want want sell what people buy. I mean, for Christ’s sake, there are “Teen Paranormal Romance” sections in book stores now because that is what sells. If it is just making money, I can’t blame them. Their target demographic is the buyers, and if the buyers are white then so be it.
I am not making excuses here. Like I stated above, finding LGBTQ friendly books is difficult. Why do I bring this up? I thought that would be obvious, those are books that relate to MY life. I want to read them for this reason. It is the same reason that I tend to favor books with male protagonist over female. Don’t me wrong, I love a good strong female lead, but I am a guy and can relate to a guy more. I have put down books that have had non-white leads simply because I can’t relate to the story going on (one book I think of was about a black teenager who was caught up in drugs or something and lived in a poor neighborhood in New York. I couldn’t get into the book because I had no way to relate to the character).
So it might not be racism, which is hinted at in the original post. It might be money. Sell to who is buying. It might be the culture of the non-whites isn’t supportive of something like writing. I don’t know, but before we jump on another fucking bandwagon let’s get our fucking facts straight.
Sigh… .hi there.Yes, you are making excuses and they are similar to the excuses publishers use when they don’t publish books with diverse characters, whether you believe it or not.
Many publishers are known for avoiding books with POC characters and/or authors or LGBTQA characters.Is it money?Yes.But let’s talk about how that breaks down.A publisher publishes a very small account of work with POC characters.They don’t put as much money into the marketing of it as the book with white characters because “books with POC characters don’t sell”.Incidentally enough, those books don’t sell as well.
There are many authors, white and non-white, who write characters with diverse characters.Yet, some writers, even writers who are established, have talked about how they’ve had editors or marketing teams try to convince them to change the sexual orientation or ethnicity of a character because “it won’t sell”.POC authors have spoken about how they’ve been told TO THEIR FACE that the publisher won’t buy their book because they already have one POC author already.One out of Lord-knows-how-many white authors.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.Publishers limit the number of POC authors and books they publish and then they don’t sell well.It might not be outright “I hate ______ people” racism, but it is systemic and institutional racism.It’s the same reason why many POC actors get looked over for acting roles.Apparently, no one wants to POC leads.They can only be supporting characters, villains, comic relief.This also happens to books with LGBTQA characters and authors.It’s institutional discrimination where people blame it on the legacies or “that’s just the way it is” when it’s the way it is because people won’t change.
Personally, I get a little upset when something like this is brought up and people think that it’s just people jumping on the bandwagon and not facts.First of all, it’s ignorant to think POC readers don’t support or read POC writers.It’s also ignorant to believe that only POC readers read POC books or benefit from reading POC books.Diversity in books helps ALL people to see the perspective of others and to learn more about people different from themselves.
A lot of discrimination is subtle and has been woven into the very fabric of a lot of business practices.To be blunt, it’s a little ignorant to think that it’s just because people aren’t writing or things aren’t selling. Seriously, you can literally Google “diversity in literature” or “diversity in children’s books” or even “whitewashing books covers” and pull up articles about this subject from the perspective of publishers, writers, editors, and educators.
I would start with CBC Diversity. It’s a great site that actively talks about the lack of diversity in children’s books and it promotes increasing the diverse voices in children’s literature.
You are the first person to make an intelligent response to my comments. I understand that just because I don’t typically get attached to books that are not white males, does not mean everyone is like that. Also, I completely agree with you on all accounts!
Everything I brought was because I don’t know why this happens, and want to. I hate publishing houses for this, and other reasons. I would suggest to any authors out there that want to publish do it by themselves. It isn’t hard, just Google it. Trust me.
I just hate it when I see something like this post and everyone instantly screams, “Racism! Sexism! FIX IT!” but no one bothers to look deeper into the issue. I know it has nothing to do with non-whites being bad writers. I know it is all culture and bullshit to get money. Black protagonists don’t sell, so those books are overlooked and the ones with whites are put on the shelves. It is all a shame. But before we jump around with pitch forks we need to understand the issues at hand.
I would place all the blame on publishers, but I have a personal hatred for them as is, so maybe I am biased. I am just tired of people jumping to conclusions without thinking about the possibilities.
Also, for future not, all my reasons about why there is a lack of diversity in books are simply questions to be brought up. They are not my beliefs, but possibilities. I say this because I have gotten a few responses about how what I said was dumb because reasons. I have stated they are hypothetical, but either people don’t know what that means or they look over it.
Yes, people can self-publish.But it’s not up to POC authors and readers to “fix this”.It’s up to the privileged and the people who work in the publishing industry to do their part.That‘s why CBC Diversity is such a big deal.These are people in the positions of power stepping up to making sure that it’s a combined effort by educators, writers, librarians, and editors to get the job done.
Why are you assuming that people are just jumping to conclusions?POC live through this on the daily.We know the reasons why and it makes many of us angry.Some people do yell, “Racism!FIX IT!” because it’s the same bullshit they’ve had to deal with forever.I chose to talk about it because that’s who I am.I’m not going to fault other POC for getting upset with you when your hypothetical theories are the same excuses we hear constantly when we ask why ask why aren’t our stories told.They have a right to be angry.Statements like yours are usually used to dismiss their views.You might have not necessarily meant to do that, but it hurts the same.I was upset when I read your response and dammit, I thought about lashing out.
In a sense, you jumped to conclusions as well.You assumed that people were just jumping on a bandwagon and you had to bring up these theories to put things in perspective and make them think. You assumed that they didn’t know or understand why this happens. You stated that “Everything I brought was because I don’t know why this happens, and want to”.Well, I hope you learn why people are upset and maybe gain some perspective on why we feel this way. There are resources our there, if you are truly interested in learning.
All I can say to that is thank you for a great answer. I honestly never thought about it like that. I jumped to the conclusion of people hopping on a bandwagon because that is (typically) what happens in these scenarios. I can say I do relate, not on the poc level, but on an LGBTQ level. The same scenario, different group. I assumed that most people never thought of these questions. I still hold that many do not, but some have. Maybe the ones who responded had heard them so much they thought I was teasing them by saying what I did.
I stand by my point of knowing the issue and fixing it there. I also stand on my belief that a vast majority of people jump on these bandwagons, and only a few actually know the real issues at hand. From the original post and the statistics provided it seemed like a bandwagon response of “There are this many poc people out there why are there not books at least matching the population?” My questions were just ideas to answer that.
I don’t think we can fix the head of the issue, not easily. I believe whole heartedly in self publishing for a ton of reasons. One is that it lets authors who are ignored to bypass the gatekeepers and get their stuff out there. Sure, they might not get flashy book trailers or big posters in the local Barnes and Noble, but with some effort and work they can get their work to the people who want to read it.
I went through the notes on this post and noticed a lot of likes and reblogs, but few comments. The comments I did see I checked out the blog and (I am making no rude statement it is just what I saw) noticed that those who commented were people of color. Now, I can see that they are one ones who would want to comment. It affects them. All the people liking this, not so much I guess. I am just stating this because of my bandwagon comment. Only a few people know the issue/care enough to say something, everyone else just clicks the little heart and keeps scrolling.