Saturday, December 18, 2010

Roxanne Gay at HTMLGiant

I ran across an article at something called HTMLGiant. Roxanne Gay's entire essay is worth a read because she takes on questions from Anglo readers about her disgust with the publishing industry that is biased against non-Anglo, non-mainstream authors. Here are some of her figures:

"The University of Wisconsin-Madison has compiled statistics about the number of books by and about people of color. In 2009, 1.6% of children’s books were written by people of color. That’s pretty horrifying.

"In 2010, 41 (or 1.4%) of the YA Books, out of approx. 3000 published, were written by black authors. The situation is even more ridiculous for Latino authors, with only 16 (0.5%) YA titles published in 2010. Twenty-two percent of all children in the US are Latino. An imbalance? Yes."

And here's her opening:

"It is difficult to talk about race and stressful and awkward and exhausting. To my mind, one of the reasons these conversations are so difficult, particularly between white people and people of color, is because, so often, white people question concerns raised as if the question is not 'how do we solve this problem,' but rather, 'does this problem exist.'

"This is not a debate about whether there are racial and class (and gender and sexuality) disparities in publishing. These disparities exist whether you (choose to) see them or not. Instead these kinds of discussions are intended to function like a magnifying glass on a problem so big it should not require a magnifying glass.

"And yet, the magnifying glass is clearly needed."

Sound like any multi-racial audience you ever had to try to educate? And the woman gets down on the questions:

"The discussion in my previous post has been really interesting and multi-faceted. As these discussions tend to go, people got heated. I got heated. I used my favorite word (fuck) a few times. I will get heated again. This issue matters to me. That this issue matters, however, doesn’t mean this is strictly an emotional issue and to suggest that demeans the discussion. Emotions are involved but there is far more at stake."

Her article contains many great points in dealing with Anglos' ignorance about why Chicanos et al get so enojados about institutional racism. Check it out here.

Es todo, hoy

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