‘Do black people read?’ What my years in publishing have taught me about diversity in books | Natalie Jerome

Malorie Blackman laments the lack of BAME children’s characters. I know – it’s a real battle to get writers of colour publishedMy daughter, like me, is of mixed heritage. She has wildly curly hair, as have I. When she was born four years ago I was given five copies of the same kids’ picture book by well-meaning friends and relatives. It was called Guess How Much I Love You. This book, whose lead characters are rabbits, was a bestseller in the 1990s. Back then it flew off the shelves. What I did not expect when I was pregnant with my daughter was that it would be far easier to find her a rabbit picture book than one featuring a child like her with brown skin and curls.This week Malorie Blackman, author of Noughts and Crosses, told Channel 4 News that of the many books she read as a child “not one of them featured a black child like me”, adding that “it made me feel invisible in the world of literature”. And when, in her mid-20s, she noticed in a children’s bookshop that little had changed, “that’s when I decided that I wanted to write for children ... for the child in me, really, for all the books I wish I could have read as a child”.If we feel disconnected from each other, perhaps it starts in this skewed, unrepresentative vision of the world that begins in our books when we are at knee height Related: Whatever happened to author Dorothy West? Continue reading... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2019-08-17 07:00:41 UTC ]
News tagged with: #black child #bame children #lead characters #real battle #mixed heritage #well-meaning friends #called guess #brown skin #feel invisible #feel disconnected #unrepresentative vision #bookshop #picture book

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