Welcome to the All About Diversity Blog Hop, hosted by Little Library Muse!
What is diversity? Isn’t that the big question?
Diversity is not just checking off boxes, or filling quotas, as is so often implied. Instead, I think it is about broadening horizons and viewpoints.
I also think it can mean different things in different contexts. And it is a very hard topic to wrap one’s arms around. It is also an extremely difficult topic to discuss, particularly in groups or situations that currently favor the status quo. It’s even difficult for me to find a way to write the intro to this blog hop without worrying about touching off one or more “hot buttons”, and there are plenty when it comes to diversity.
So let’s try to focus on diversity in books and reading, as this is a book blog. Through reading, it is possible to learn about, develop an understanding of and an empathy for people who are different from oneself. But that only works if those multiple viewpoints are published, and if you seek them out to read them.
For example, most of The New York Times Best Sellers for fiction and non-fiction in 2017 were written by white men – unless they have even a hint of romance, most of which is written by white women. There are very few other voices on those lists, and if that’s where you get your reading from, then that’s who you’re reading, whether intentionally or not. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There have been multiple memes, themes and projects to get people to read books written from other perspectives, whether that diversity is represented by gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin, country of publication, or diversity on any other axis that shows a different point of view. The #WeNeedDiverseBooks initiative as well as A Year of Reading the World are just two of the many examples.
Representation is also important. Just as it can be eye-opening to read books written from a completely different perspective than my own, it is also affirming to read books that speak to me because they represent me. And both of those are experiences that everyone should have the chance to have, no matter who they are or where they are coming from. We do need diverse books, not just for children, but for adults as well.
Perhaps, in times like these, especially for adults.
As part of this blog hop, I’m giving one lucky winner either a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 Book from the Book Depository that they will hopefully use to further their own exploration of diverse books.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
For more terrific prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!