Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Confession Tuesday: Color It Up!

I confess, after the multiple trainwrecks that derailed the real issue which is race and representation, I was seriously thinking of complaining tonight but then I thought about the women who inspire me, women who refuse to be silent and whose voices remind me I am not crazy, I am not delusional and I have a right to be angry. Thank you to my friends, Zetta, Colleen, Neesha and Justine- writers who remain focused and committed.

Thanks also to Ari and Ah Yuan, young women who give me hope that my generation can connect and learn from the next generation of leaders. And then there is my DQ, who gives me reason every day to fight for her right to be seen, heard and respected for the beautiful teen of color she is. I don't want another generation of little black girls choosing white dolls over black ones because even in the twenty-first century our brown babies don't want to be brown.

For all of you who asked what you can do now, here's my short list:

  • Join me in boycotting Bloomsbury. Post my anti-bloomsbury button on your page and list links to articles and letters why whitewashing needs to end now.
  • Join the newly formed POC Reading Challenge
  • Blog Brown- Read and review titles by or about PoC. And please don't think this is painful like pulling teeth. PoC write in every genre that you love despite the perception that black authors only write about Civil Rights and slave narratives or gangsta fiction. And other PoC doesn't always mean immigrant experience.
  • Color Me Brown Links- Find new reads by checking out CMB every Thursday at Color Online
  • New Crayons- I'm reviving this Sunday feature where we talk about PoC books we bought, borrowed or got on trade.
  • Post links to PoC reviews in your current challenges, sharing with readers that PoC broadens not restricts what we read. I'm in six challenges. And I intend to color up them all.
  • Check out Poc Blogs- Read and comment and then pick up new title you discovered there. List below.
  • Display I Read In Color button on your blog. Join webring at Brown Bookspeak
And here is a list of things to come:

  • Boycott page on Facebook. Hoping to have option to sign and link to your blog in support
  • Diversity Roundtable hosted at Color Online
  • New Diversity Award (I know another award) for communities and bloggers who actively support PoC.
  • PoC book carnival

Support these PoC blogs. This list is compromised of PoC bloggers and others who focus or significantly promote multicultural literature:

Reading In Color (YA)
GAL Novelty (YA)
The Happy Nappy Bookseller (YA)
Black-Eyed Susan's(YA)
Crazy Quilts (YA)
Color Online (YA)

Paper Tigers
The Brown Bookshelf
American Indians in Children's literature
Black Threads in Kids Lit
Asian in The Heart, World on the Brain
Shen's Books

Writer blogs
Lyn Miller-Lachman (c/YA)
Mitali's Fire Escape (YA)
Cynical, Ornery, Sublime(Neesha Meminger)
Fledgling (Zetta Elliott)
Chasing Ray (Colleen Mondor)
Justine Larbalestier
Tayari Jones
White Readers Meet Black Authors (Carleen Brice)

BrownGirl Speaks
La Bloga
BronzeWord Latino Authors
Lotus Reads
Brown Paper
In Spring It's Dawn
PopCultureShock (Rich Watson)
Writers of Color 50 Book Challenge


Helen's Book Blog said...

Thanks for the blog suggestions; I added the ones I didn't already have

April (BooksandWine) said...

Hey Susan!

Someone has started a POC reading challenge:

It's a step in the right direction. I fully intend to check out the PoC blogs you mention and to do my small part on my meager blog in publicizing PoC authors and characters.

I regret some of my words posted earlier, I think I got so caught up in seeing people's 'offended tweets' that I sort of posted comments without deeply thinking, without remembering who I am, which is a white-girl who has taken college classes about white privilege and hierarchies. I re-read Unpacking the Knapsack to remind myself specifically of that privilege. I think you have every right to 'yell' as loudly as you want over this issue. Racism which is undetected is I think the most dangerous, because people become complacent over it.

Thank you for not being silent and for refusing to be silent.

susan said...

Hi April,

I know a thing or two about getting hot. lol

I'm glad you're staying engaged. Thank you.

Helen, my dream is to get more in the YA column. Thanks.

Vasilly said...

You can count me in. I've just copied your button and will be adding it to my blog before I go to bed. I've started following a few of the suggested blogs yesterday and will add the rest.

Zetta said...

Great post/resource, Susan. I just read Justine's post...I love that we all speak in different voices and different tones, but share the same message...

MissA said...

I'm so tired. But this is a great post and you inspire me to keep going with all your energy and encoruagement and love. I'm doing this for the next generation as well. I'll be adding the writer and adult links I don't have.

These are all great ideas and I'm ready to help with anything (except boycott but everything else!) Thank you for all that you do :)

Pam Pho said...

Just subscribed to all the blogs you mentioned. Thanks for taking the time to make a list.

susan said...


Thanks for creating the challenge. Now you know why my email was delayed. :-)

Jason Black said...

Someone should do up a high-quality, alternate book flat with a different, author-approved model on the front. Publish a PDF of it. Anybody with a decent color laser printer that can take big paper can print new book jackets and, guerrilla style, just go into the bookstore and re-cover the books. Problem solved!

Tarie Sabido said...

Susan, I am shaking from anger. Now even dragons are whitewashed by publishers. The Dragon and the Stars is a science fiction and fantasy anthology from Chinese authors all over the world. The cover features a Western dragon instead of a Chinese dragon. WTF?!

Here are a couple links:

susan said...

Do you think maybe folks will be to notice how pervasive whitewashing is? Do readers really want to argue that Bloomsbury made an unintentional error, that some faceless graphic artist who didn't know the book, picked a white girl at random? Have you ever visited Do.

Thanks, Tarie.

Marjorie said...

Susan, you are a star! Don't stop!

And thank you for pointing out It all makes me spit feathers!

Jodie said...

You might also like to know that The Classic Circuit is running a harlem renaissance themed blog tour in February:

Anonymous said...

You're beyond awesome! Shout as loud and fierce as you want to.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for bring all these resources/voices together in one place.

Mrs. Pilkington said...

great list! there's also Mitali Perkins' Books Between Cultures blog at
Pooja's South Asian Kid Lit List:

Color Online said...

Thanks Gbemi,

Will add. By the way, our <a href=">Boycott Bloomsbury</a> page is live!

Big thank you to Terri of BrownGirl Speaks

claire said...

Susan, I didn't really understand what the deal was with Bloomsbury this time until I read Vasilly's post of the repeat offense, even after the Liar controversy. I am shocked and baffled and hurt. It's like publishers disregarding the fact that there are also PoC readers like us who spend money on books. I didn't realize Eva's post was about this (because I don't Twitter). Am so thankful to you for putting your foot forward (as always).

yuan said...

Woah, nice links roundup here. lol And I'm flattered that you linked to my book blog. :D Will be checking the sites I don't have on my reading list as of yet. =D

Zee said...

Thanks for all the great links. I wasn't going to join any more challenges but I will join in the POC one. You are doing a great job!

Tarie Sabido said...

Hi, Susan! Yep, I have visited the racebending website. I will not spend 200 pesos on THAT movie, that's for sure. Not interested in watching Caucasian actors play Asian characters.