There are no black authors.
Hard to believe but that is what I assumed. It’s crazy being a WoC and thinking such a strange and asinine thought. Obviously, I know that there are plenty of black authors and authors of different ethnicities but as a reader and person that solely reads YA and Fantasy it was something that I didn’t see very often growing up. To this day it’s an effort to consciously pick of a book with diverse characters by an author of color.
Do I hate my race?
Do I hate my skin color?
The fact of the matter is that books that are diverse and written by PoC are hardly presented in the same fashion as books written by white people. Take it how you want it but its true. And believe me it’s not just the publishing companies that are not presenting diversity in writing but it is also bloggers. Just look at social media and other outlets and you will be see what I mean. In the last month I’ve seen 5 different giveaways happening on Twitter. All for the same 4-5 books that are coming out before the end of the year. One is due out next year. I won’t say which books but you probably know already. And that my fellow readers is part of the problem.
Hell, I’m part of the problem. I’ll admit it. I’m like everyone else trying to bring attention their blog. Trying to stay up-to-date with the latest and most talked about books out there. Most often than not those books don’t present me in the least.
Codename for written by white people. With a white MC (main character). Most often blond hair and blue eyes. Although the sassy and spunky red-head is making an appearance as of late. Still it’s all the same no matter which way you look at it.
Yeah, I might relate to a character’s personality but their skin color is not the same. Their surroundings are not the same. Hell their struggle might not be the same as mines. They might not know what it means to go to church on a Sunday sitting there all day, watching people catch the Holy Ghost. Or sitting on the floor between you mama’s legs as she braids up your thick unruly hair. Or having someone follow you around the store because they think you’re going to steal something.
ATTENTION STORE OWNERS:
NOT ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR STEAL!
Now that my PSA is done back to what I want and wish to see more in YA and writing in general.
I want to see the Black experience. The Asian experience. The West Indies experience. Middle Eastern, African, Gay, Transgender…etc. All these people/cultures/groups should be presented equally by all. That means publishing companies get your act together. Bloggers make the effort to as least include some form of diversity on your blog. Whether it’s interviewing an author of color or reviewing diverse books. Or doing a giveaway that has a diverse book or two in it. This goes for me as well.
As I’ve said before, I need to make a conscious effort of buying and reading more diverse book. Promoting and using my social media platform as a way to spread attention to some incredible and amazing diversity driven books. You never know—one of those books could be your all-time favorite.
Phew. That was a lot to say but I’m not done.
As with all good things comes the bad.
So you know the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign is in full swing and everybody and they mama is tweeting and instagramming about it, which in itself is a good thing. Shout it out to the heavens and everyone that would listen. Spread the word. I’m all for that. What pisses me off to no end is that sadly and unfortunately there are some people including authors that I feel are using this “hashtag” as a trend. Sorry but diversity is not a trend. It’s reality people. It’s not something you can write about and forget. It’s not something you can turn on and off with the flick of a switch. No there are human beings that live this every day. Get that through your thick skull and stop using #WeNeedDiverseBooks for instant gratification and monetary gain. Fucking sad and pathetic.
So to all the authors and writers out there, please don’t stick a PoC in your book just because you think it’s the “cool” or “right” thing to do. Newsflash: we can tell when you half-assed a character and just dropped them in the book for the purpose of being “diverse”. Yeah I talking to you white people.
If you’re not going to do the research or ask the questions, DON’T FUCKING DO IT! It’s disrespectful not only to the group you insulted but also to your readers. They’re smarter than you give them credit for.
In conclusion, I probably offended some of ya’ll. Hell I will probably lose some followers because of this post but I DON’T GIVE A FLAMING FUCK!
There’s a chance that I offended people or made people uncomfortable. That was the point. I want a dialogue to start. I want to debate–so we can fix the problem. The above opinions were my own. I don’t present all black people. Just myself. This was something I had to get off my chest. And it felt damn good.
As always thanks for stopping by and reading what i have to say and all my rambling thoughts.