I’m white, and I read A LOT. When I look at my bookshelves, I’ve got lots of books by white authors. People who are pretty much like me (except some are women and all write much, much, MUCH better than I do). My short story choices are more diverse but not diverse enough. The novels I read by people of color are pretty much all my wife’s books: Morrison, Hurston, Llosa, Alvarez, Achebe (mine, actually), Lahiri (actually, think that one’s mine too), and Ward. None of those authors, you’ll notice, are SFF. I have a POC-sized hole in my reading list.
It’s a choice (unconscious or otherwise) that I’m trying to change. However, I haven’t known where to start.
Then, tonight, I saw this tweet:
And here’s what I read on the BookLust website she linked to:
Did you know that there are more books in publication about people of character that are by Caucasian authors than there are by people of color authors?! That means that if you are white and write a book about an Indian girl named Aarti and her life in Chicago (and perhaps a fantastical journey to Fairyland) you are more likely than I am to get that book published. That’s messed up.
And so a small group of bloggers got together to create an event to fight this. And, as bloggers do, we decided to organize a blog tour. For one week in September (the week of the 23rd), we want ALL OF YOU fantasy/sci fi/magical realism readers (with blogs and without) to read a fantasy/sci fi/magical realism novel written by a person of color. And to write a review of that book.
So I signed up. I figured it was a good impetus to get my ass in gear read more books by more writers, particularly WOC. It’s absolutely fucked up that “more books in publication about people of character that are by Caucasian authors than there are by people of color authors.” By patronizing more WOC, hopefully that stat can change. Partaking in this Blog Tour event is one way to do that.
I’ve signed up to read Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (just Nnedi Okorafor now).
Perhaps you’ll sign up for the blog tour as well?