Day 16: Mine your own material
Awhile ago I re-tweeted this article I saw: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-world-of-childrens-books-is-still-very-white/
I agree with a lot of what the author of this article had to say. While at the end of 2015, there are a lot more books for “us” there could still be more, and on a much needed, wider variety of topics.
When my girls were born, I had a hell of a time trying to find books on any subject that were for them specifically: African-American, multi-racial, single parent home, non-stereotypical sports like Taekwondo and Rhythmic Gymnastics, brown girl power, etc. It was really hard, but we managed to find a few really good ones over the years.
I will say though, that while the internet has made searching for books of all kinds much easier over the years, it also makes it easier to find things that are disgusting and highly inappropriate. When I google searched for “African American children’s books” just now, this was one of the top results:
How is this child-friendly? How is this something that I would share with my children? And how much would you bet that there is no such book for 10 little white kids….
It’s upsetting. It’s hurtful. I wish there were more authors out there rooting for us, and I wish there were more publishers out there who believed that there IS a market for books that empower without putting someone else down. Just because I want a book that’s pro African American, doesn’t mean I want to put down any other race. Just because I want a book that’s pro single moms, doesn’t mean I want to put down single dads. It’s a simple thing really…
*My 2 cents…