I've been offline for a few days and I come back to learn that Bloomsbury is mocking us once more. I stopped at Fledgling and Zetta alerted me to Ari (the most amazing teen blogger on the planet) at Reading in Color who alerted me to Ah Yuan at Gal Novelty (clearly becoming my other most favorite teen blog to visit) and Ah Yuan directed me to Bookshop. Kudos to Bookshop for calling Bloomsbury out for their latest whitewashing, Magic Under the Glass by Jacqlyn Dolmore.
Nimira is a performer, dancing and singing in search of fortune, after migrating from Tassim, in the far East... in Lorinar, she is nothing but a dark-skinned amusement, a novelty “trouser girl” who earns nothing but pennies and whose number comes after acrobats and trained dogs in the music hall she is employed at. ... Nim was a breath of fresh air. For starters, she is dark-skinned and from a different culture; she is strong without being kick-ass: she cries when she has to cry, she fights when she has to fight, she adapts when she has to adapt. She is resilient, she is practical – and she is proud! Proud of her heritage and past.
Clearly, Bloomsbury doesn't take us seriously. Obviously they think teen bloggers are too shallow and fickle to call them out.
Well, there is a growing band of YA bloggers who are outraged and we are not going to be silent. We are going to continue to publicly criticize whitewashing, demand greater diversity in POC genre options and characters and we will snap our wallets shut until we get change. We are not only going to call out the industry but we're calling bloggers and readers on the carpet, too.
The Industry behaves in part based on what the consumer accepts. It is time to call out peers for failing to stand up for what's right. I'm not talking name calling, I'm talking about publicly calling on our peers to speak up, asking YA bloggers to join us in promoting POC writers and denouncing unfair practices at publishing houses.
I am sick of the excuses and head plunking in the sand. Teens, particularly you teen girls, stop taking the disrespect. Stop allowing the publishing industry to treat you like silly little girls who gush and fantasize over one model of beauty. You have no problem telling adults otherwise when they are wrong in what they think about you so why do you accept them selling you a stick figure with perfect skin, gorgeous hair and white skin?
Below is my letter at Bookshop's and Bloomsbury has a personal message coming. Speak up people.
Thanks for this post. I'll be blogging and linking to your post. For those who argue about hurting the author, the author has already been hurt. The publisher failed her book. They disrespected her. They betrayed the vision she created. And frankly, I support conscientious writers. If the writer is not disturbed, she is not a writer I would support in the future.
Bloomsbury has disrespected the readers. They changed the LIAR cover purely for financial reasons. Clearly this company is unconcerned about the readers who will boycott this book. They believe enough white readers and those POC who don't mind being marginalized will buy the book and many will. Many will dismiss or justify buying a book and say it's to help the author. You're not helping any writer who writes POC when you accept whitewashing.
Change comes at a cost. It is never easy.
Whitewashing is racist. It says no one is interested in any character other than the white standard. It says we do not value diversity. It says POC at best can be a sidekick. POC can earn the publisher money but we cannot represent them.
BULLCRAP. *edited. I hate offending unnecessarily.
More than twenty years ago I stopped shopping at mall because of it's racial practices and I've never gone back. I will do the same with Bloomsbury. And no gift box of books will change my opinion or spending habits. I'd just as well set Ceceka's business card on fire and lucky for the Bloomsbury staff at Mid-ALA that I won't be attending. I will however be speaking at the National Diversity in Libraries Conference this summer and I'll be sharing my opinion of Bloomsbury loud and clear.
Bloomsbury has shown it's true color. And I will be showing mine.