Have you been following the Magic Under Glass controversy? Need a break, or are you looking for a straightforward synopsis? Then swing by Chasing Ray and read Colleen’s summary and critique. Everybody should probably step back and take a deep breath before posting another comment…Neesha Meminger also cuts to the chase:
I do LOVE that there are bloggers out there who see this issue as something that affects them, and are taking it on themselves, or as allies. Brava to you! The only thing that really irked me in the comments I read was the suggestion that those who are outraged about the cover should somehow be “nicer” in their outrage. Let me just point out that sometimes PoC, women, LGBTQ folks, the working class, and other people who’ve had their voices marginalized, get angry. When you’re being battered on a daily basis, you’re bound to get a little pissed. And then, if you see people you love–your little brother, your cousin, your mom, your child, your grandpa–relentlessly battered as well, you’ll not likely reach out lovingly, softly, compassionately, to “teach” someone that their silence is not only NOT helping you, but that it is helping to keep the very systems in place that bruise and batter you every single day. To tell people who’ve had long histories of violence, subjugation, brutality, colonization, and/or slavery, that it would be better for them to be “nice” about their pain and outrage at being erased yet again — because they might hurt someone else’s feelings, otherwise — is really another way of saying “shut up.” It truly is. Audre Lorde’s famous quote, “Your silence will not protect you” comes to mind; the extension of that being, “Your silence will not help others.”
And I *just* found this great post from Eva over at A Striped Armchair—she links to that great Peggy McIntosh article, which apparently some folks need to read/re-read. Think there’s nothing you can do?
I’m not trying to make you defensive. But here’s what I’m asking. Examine your reading choices, from an ethnic point of view. Are you comfortable with what you see? If not, change something. Commit, preferably publicly, to reading X number of POC books. Or X percentage. Or be sure to review the ones that you do read. Or do a post about it to spread awareness. Or start requesting that your library buy specific POC books (my library allows patrons four requests a month, and I’ve been using them on POC and GLBT books to try to round out their collection). Or ask your favourite bookstore why their endcap displays feature so many white authors. Just do something!
On another note, Kyra Hicks has once again dazzled us with her statistical skills…stop by her blog and see how the CSK Awards seem to go to the same (talented) authors and illustrators year after year—is there anything we can do about this?
On the subject of repeat winners ….
- 52% of the 246 total Coretta Scott King awards given since 1970 have gone to recipients who have received four or more awards!
- 23 folks have won more than four Coretta Scott King awards: 12 authors and 11 illustrators
- 71 out of the 152 author awards have gone to the same 12 African American authors. This is no disrespect to these fine folks or their body of literature – but put another way – nearly 1 in 2 Coretta Scott King author awards (46.7%) have gone to the same twelve folks. Does the United States of America really publish such few potential award-winning Black kid’s lit authors?!
- On the illustrator front, 57 out of 94 illustrator awards have gone to the same 11 Black illustrators. Put another way… 60.6% of all Coretta Scott King awards for illustration have gone to the same 11 folks.
- Painting a more detailed picture…. 23 illustration awards have gone to the same talented four illustrators: Jerry Pinkney, Ashley Bryan, and the team of Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon. That’s 1 in 4 CSK illustrator awards!