compiled by Nawal Nader-French
Widening the Path: The Importance of Publishing Black Writers
by Elizabeth Nunez
THE LITERARY LIFE
In this article, the writer explores how white comfort and familiarity often determine work that is selected for publication which negatively impacts Black writers accepted into the publishing industry. In addition the article further discounts the rumor that there isn't an audience for black books.
DIVERSITY, DIVERSITY 102, DIVERSITY BASELINE SURVEY, DIVERSITY, RACE, AND REPRESENTATION: WHERE IS THE DIVERSITY IN PUBLISHING? THE 2019 DIVERSITY BASELINE SURVEY RESULTS
JANUARY 28, 2020 LEEANDLOWBOOKS 371 COMMENTS
The Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 2.0) was created by Lee & Low Books with co-authors Laura M. Jiménez, PhD, Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and Betsy Beckert, graduate student in the Language and Literacy Department of Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
A survey that examines the importance of diversity in publishing and how culture can be shaped by the publishing industry. The statistics presented reveal a diverse workforce that is surveyed over time that track the progress the publishing industry is doing towards improving representation and inclusion. The survey also examines how the publishing industry is not compromised of BIPOC and the ability to transform culture is limited when diverse voices are not represented.
Diversity In Book Publishing Isn't Just About Writers — Marketing Matters, Too
August 9, 20169:55 AM ET
In this article, the writer advocates for marketing strategies to improve and raise interest in black writers work. The writer argues that it is ingrained in American society that the great American novel is an exclusive white right and only accessible and possible through the lens of a white writer. The writer also argues that a future shift needs to occur where publishers and readers see black literature as the art it is rather than anthropology.
Black Authors and Self-Publishing
by Zetta Elliott
Mar 16, 2015 | Filed in News & Features
Published in 2015, 75 percent of white people in America had no friends of color. While most of America continues to grow in diversity neighborhoods and schools reveal that the situation is rapidly “resegregating”. The article examines the need for diverse children’s literature to help deepen understanding, compassion and value for varied races. With diverse texts, students will be exposed to children other than themselves and begin to shape white children’s lens in an effort to dismantle racism in the country.
The Role Publishing Plays in the Commodification of Black Pain
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:00am
This article explores the conditioning of the type of writing black writers must adhere to for their work to be consisted for publication. Most notable is the message that the stories of Black authors, Black readers, and Black people as a whole aren’t valued if they do not write the stereotypical stories expected of them. Black pain becomes commodified as similar black works find their way into publication based on the trauma within. The writer further argues that non-Black readers exploit their reading of black trauma by “somehow feeling they’ve accomplished something. They’ve managed activism by bearing witness to the events of the book”.
Publishing has ignored and pigeonholed black authors for too long
June 9, 2020
The most recent census by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society revealed that only 6% of authors published in the UK are people of colour. A 2019 report found that just 7% of children’s books featured a BAME character. Last year, the Publishers Association found that only 13% of those working in publishing were BAME (in an industry that is mostly based in London – yet the proportion who went to private school was three times the national figure).
BAME and shame: How non-white writers are shunned by the books industry
19 April 2016
In this article, the writer addresses the need for more people of color on the operation and infrastructure side of publishing. Most importantly is a reference to editors curating issues that are not just about their tastes but about “interesting, eclectic list that's diverse in every sense, not just racially.” In the UK, research has identified that Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) authors are consistently under-represented in the publishing industry. Research indicated that white publishing industry minimizes the importance of black and people of color writers. In addition, the press and literary festivals regularly ignore writers of color.
Ramdarshan Bold, M. The Eight Percent Problem: Authors of Colour in the British Young Adult Market (2006–2016).
Pub Res Q 34, 385–406 (2018).
The research in the article reveals that the publishing industry is dominated by Anglo-American female authors. Most interesting was British male writers of color were poorly represented. When one considers how the educational culture of people of color is shaped by literature and the need to read literary representations, one begins to wonder the impact of lack of black literature by males has on black and people of color.
Kelly Capatosto, Lena Tenney, and Sarah Mamo Cheryl Staats. STATE OF THE SCIENCE: IMPLICIT BIAS REVIEW 2017 Edition
In this training guide, readers are presented with ways to identify and address implicit bias. The review shows how systemic racism is prevalent.
How Can Literary Magazines Counter Their Biases?
In this article, the writer examines the ways in which editors can consider how to include diverse works while also still considering work under blind conditions. Blind submissions are meant to eliminate biases but in that respect, are editors reading with an implicit bias, a lens that prefers white writing, that regardless of blinded submissions, work is still being selected by white writers. Is eradicating the ability to identify race entirely helpful towards the goal of shaping a publishing industry that publishes more diverse works.
THE ANSWER TO IMPLICIT RACISM MIGHT BE IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE Could diverse protagonists reduce racial anxiety?
UPDATED:JUN 14, 2017ORIGINAL:DEC 2, 2014
“Children’s literature is not a diverse space. Of 3,200 children's books published in 2013, only 67 were written by African-American writers, and only 93 centered on black characters. That's actually the lowest tally recorded since 1994, when the Cooperative Children's Book Centre began collecting data. Children's books didn't do much better with American Indian, Asian, or Latino kids. For children of color, children's books offer few role models and few heroes who look like them.”
How white people uphold systemic racism in publishing
June 16, 2020 https://raimeygallant.com/2020/06/16/howwhitepeopleupholdsystemicracisminpublishing/White people uphold systemic racism in publishing by not doing the right thing sometimes when it means doing the right thing will benefit people of color and especially BIPOC (Black and Indigenous people of color) in publishing more than it will benefit