Kidlitcon is just a few days away and I’m working on my panel presentation, which means I’m gathering up all the bits and pieces that explain why I do what I do. I’m a bit of a mess these days. On Sunday the protestors singing a “Requiem for Mike Brown” brought me to tears; the night before I pulled out my Sarah Vaughan CD and got misty while writing about my father in the introduction to an article I later scrapped. Late last week there was quite a dust up over at the Horn Book blog when Roger Sutton decided to explain why there’s no place for self-published books in his elite review journal. He subsequently offered a “Selfie Sweepstakes,” which I won’t be entering, but the debate at least made me clarify my point of view and connected me with some sympathetic folks online. And yesterday I heard from Amy Martin at the Oakland Public Library; last spring she and other librarians explained the importance of shelving books, which prompted me to resize three of my recently published titles. As Amy explains on the OPL blog, Max Loves Muñecas! now meets their formatting standards and will hopefully be on the shelves soon…
I just read an article about a study that shows whites are becoming less supportive of diversity initiatives as people of color shift from minority to majority status in the US. This piece will definitely become part of my Kidlitcon talk:
The researchers say the results are related to whites feeling threatened in a way that is distinct from their concerns about economic competition or clashing cultural values. They concluded that the demographic changes are threatening whites’ sense that they best represent the American identity.
“Whites have long benefited from being seen as the ethnic group that best represents what it means to be American,” said Huo, a faculty member in the UCLA College. “Thinking about a future in which whites are no longer a numerical majority threatens this claim to the American identity and, we have found, results in a reluctance to embrace diversity and greater support for newcomers to assimilate to American society.”
The “threat to identity,” Danbold said, is often overlooked in discussions about why whites are uneasy about changing demographics.