For a few years now, The Brown Bookshelf has talked about the need for more diversity in children’s and YA books. Our focus here has been books by and/or about African Americans. Our voices are strongest during the month of February, when we host our 28 Days Later campaign.
Thankfully within recent months — and particularly this week — others have begun to discuss some of these same issues. Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers wrote stellar pieces in the New York Times. The issue has also been talked about on CNN, EW and others. But it was probably BookCon’s all-white lineup (and poor response to the outcry), that really inspired a grassroots effort to bring attention to the issue.
Twenty-two authors, publishers, and bloggers launched a three-day, visual social media campaign called “We Need Diverse Books.” It began on May 1 and runs through today. The campaign called for participants to tweet, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook or blog photos that addressed the question “ We need diverse books because . . .” And the campaign went viral.
Please see the “We Need Diverse Books” website for more information about the campaign, which ends with a call for people to put their money where their mouths are and purchase diverse books.
Several of us here at the Brown Bookshelf contributed to the campaign. The following are some of our contributions to the cause:
#WeNeedDiverseBooks to remind us that *other* people exist and matter too.