Recently, I read an article about children’s literature and the lack of diversity in the characters of the books. Last year, 3,200 children’s books were published but only 93 had African American characters. The big question here is: WHY?
In our day and age, one would expect more diversity in literature. It’s hard to say who’s to blame for these low numbers: the writer, the publisher or the public. Are there enough minority writers? Are publishing houses really run by “old, white men”? Or is it our fault because the public gravitates towards a “more traditional” children’s book?
We could dissect the numbers and the reasons all day. What we really should be doing is focusing on a way to change the numbers for this year and beyond. Starting today, May 1 through May 3, there is a campaign called “We Need Diverse Books”. You can tweet, blog, Instagram or post on a social network the reason YOU believe we need diverse books. Add the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks to your post. The campaign wants this hashtag to trend over the next three days so that writers, publishers, and the public can unite in diversifying literature.
I believe we need diverse books because heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and COLORS!
So, tell me, why do YOU think we need diverse books?