It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.
3. And this is just ranting, of course, because I’m afraid
and unwilling to engage, won’t give people a chance
to prove the rightness of their positions, the purity of their intent.
Besides, this haze of getting by, forgetting and being forgotten
“On Writing Diverse Characters…And Moving Past Passive Aggression” by Suleikha Snyder
Yeah, that’s what I do. And that’s what exhausts me, what makes many label me as histrionic or one of those Angry Women of Color who doesn’t want white people writing diverse books. Inevitably, one way or another, the hurtful book will still continue to hurt me. I will be the Bad Guy. Sure, sometimes it can be fun, even vindicating, to be the Bad Guy. But, mostly, it eats at you. Because you know that calling out race-fail is ultimately worse than writing something racist. That’s the lesson we’re taught. Being a whistleblower often means you get the blowback.
“Why The Mikado is Still Problematic: Cultural Appropriation 101” by Desdemona Chiang at HowlRound
The truth is, no one can make anyone do anything. As long as there’s a privileged person who feels immune and entitled to produce The Mikado or any other kind of work that marginalizes others, those works will live on until the social climate changes.
For the record, I don’t think that hiring Asian people makes The Mikado OK. In my opinion, the show was born out of a fetishistic impulse that reduces the Japanese culture to an object of curiosity, and I don’t think that can be validated or corrected by “appropriate casting” without serious reconstructive dramaturgy.
“The Numbers So Far” at the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Blog
Meg Rosoff Throwdown Roundup
“Sunday Morning Reads” by Edi Campbell
I do need to read about a queer black boy to read about marginalized people. I doneed the children’s book world to be much more literal about what, about who needs to be represented and I need that more than I need to read about self absorbed middle class white kids in apocalyptic England.
I need mirrors like Jeremiah Nebula to remind me that I can face my fears. I need him to remind me how fearfully white the world is and if I need this book as my mirror, then my queer little black boys need books to prop themselves on it like a crutch.
2. “There are thousands of books:”Where? Do you know any of them? Do you know that there are thousands of books about white people, and yet, we’re still expected to read them? In the past, white books were all that were offered. Racial minorities are just beginning to have their stories told. Yes, there have been many success stories, but for each of those, there are about ten authors being shot down.PS: Stories about racial minorities written by white people don’t count.
This is how I live now. I sit knee-to-knee with other castoffs from the accepted literary status quo. We compare the titles where we’ve seen glimpses of ourselves, quick darts of a reflection across the Mirror of Erised, never seen full-face, never given a mouth beneath the wide, hungry eyes.