From Earthsea to Noughts and Crosses, The Summer Prince to Akata Witch, children and teens need to see books with characters that represent the diverse world they live in, whether they are dystopian romance or fantasy adventure. Organisations like We Need Diverse Books are helping to promote diversity in children’s literature, but what actions can we take – as readers, writers, publishers, and book-buyers – to help them in their goals? And who are the great authors of the past few years we should be catching up on?
“Coming from America – and depending on the economic level of where you happen to be – the multiracial aspect [of Britain] is a great triumph, I think.”
“It is a successful post-racialist society. The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War. It’s meant to be an era of colour-blindness but the fact is the proportion of black and brown people in the US has quintupled in the last couple of decades.”
According to M John Harrison, “The zombie is the ultimate other in a neoliberal society … they will never embarrass you by revealing their humanity.” To what extent does this reading explain the popularity of zombie franchises? And what are we to make of works such as Warm Bodies, The Returned and In The Flesh, that start to rehumanise the zombie?
Rosa Parks was not the first woman to refuse to give up her seat on a bus for a white person. I know, I didn’t know this either. It’s not our fault. Claudette Colvin had done the same nine months before. She was not considered by African American civil rights leaders to be a suitable symbol for the campaign against segregationist legislation. She was too young (she was fifteen), perceived to be too fiesty and too emotional, and too working class to be an appropriate figurehead to inspire revolution among her fellow African American residents of Montgomery, Alabama. She suffered more at the hands of the police than Ms. Parks (Colvin was jailed, among other things), more scorn from her neighbours and supposed friends than Ms. Parks, and yet she’s been conveniently forgotten by the press, the historians and the public.
The Shawl is the first book I’ve read concerning the Holocaust but it’s everything one would expect it to be. A horrific, poignant, lyrical, and heartbreaking narrative of one woman’s life before, during and after the traumatizing events for the Jewish during WWII. Listening to Yelena Shmulenson’s skillful narration brought Rosa’s suffering to life and doesn’t fail to evoke heartache for her plight.
Yesterday I wrote about feminism’s ultimate goal: equality. But after reading J.W. Orderson’s novella Creoleana and short play The Fair Barbadian and Faithful Black (review to come), I’m questioning whether equality in all things is actually achievable.
‘no society can exist without subordination’ – Judge Errington, The Fair Barbadian and Faithful Black
I am the product of MLK’s “dream” as the daughter of a black mother and white father. Who knows, I might not be here if people like him hadn’t fought for racial equality and against segregation.
Brilliant free BBC audio of “I Have A Dream” read by Maya Angelou, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ndileka Mandela (granddaughter of Nelson Mandela), Stevie Wonder, Doreen Lawrence (mother of murdered British teenager Stephen Lawrence), Malala Yousafzai (sixteen-year-old student from Swat in Pakistan, shot by the Taliban for going to school), and a few others.
Right now you’re thinking: Is this book racist? No doubt the title is controversial, as are its contents, but I can happily reassure you, as a mixed race individual myself, it’s not racist.
‘Human variation is real, and it’s foolish to ignore it or sweep it under the rug. It’s not something to be ashamed of or to avoid for fear of conflict… Our diversity is a gift, and to keep ourselves separated and compartmentalized would be to waste that gift.’
What do Steve Jobs, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bob Marley, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Naomi Campbell, Vin Diesel, Jimi Hendrix, Ne-Yo and Jessica Alba all have in common? You know many more mixed race individuals than you think.