Do We Need Diversity In Books? // Peoples Thought’s, Opinion + More!

Diversity in books is a topic that had flared up during social media over the past few months. If it doesn’t sound familiar to you, then maybe the tag #WeNeedMoreDiverseBooks does. As a fellow reader, and book blogger, I would like to share my thoughts and opinions on this interesting trope.

What is a Diverse Book?

Here’s Banned Book Week coalition definition:

We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

Meaning, that a book is diverse if it has a character that is not white, but a different color/ethnicity/race, or gender.

Are Diverse Books Important (and do we really need them?)

The answer is YES! Diversity in books has many positive impacts for this generation.  

  • Learning Different Cultures – Diverse books exposes the reader to a different culture, and maybe even a different lifestyle. This could lead to a better understanding towards that specific culture, and maybe even stop discrimination.
  • Relatable – Being able to connect, and relate to a character from personal levels, is a great thing in a book. Not all people are white, therefore, not all people won’t connect to the main characters. However, write a book about an Asian girl who’s trying to make her life in the world, but is refrained because of culture, it will pertain to other readers.  Readers who might understand what this girl is going through, it might make them feel less alone/
  • Spices things up – Same old person with blue -gray eyes, brown hair. Those charestics are repeated over, and over are bound to get boring. Why not introduce a colored girl with pink hair, brown eyes? Doesn’t that sound a bit more interesting?

 

Falling in love, getting cancer, facing taunts, losing a loved one doesn’t happen to everyone. That’s just another reason for why we need diverse books, it makes everyone feel less alone.  

Statistics  

This is the number of of Children’s book written by/about African/African Americans, American Indians/First Nations, Asian Pacific/ Asian  Pacific Americans, and Latinos

capture
from CCBC

As you can see, it’s not a lot. From 2002-2016 the number of children book authors written by African/African Americans has increased by only 23 people, and from 2002-2016 the amount of book about American Indians/First Nations has decreased by almost 10 books. 

What WE think about diversity

I asked bloggers around the blogosphere, and here’s what they thought

  • Mahriya @ MyBookishLife – Diverse books are REALLY important. When I was younger, I always wondered why the main characters were never people of colour or of any different religions. The characters I read about were always so ‘normal’ but yet nothing like me. I was yet to read a book about maybe a girl or boy who didn’t look PRETTY and had beautiful hair, eyes and a wonderful life. I was yet to read a book where the characters had different rules, wore different clothes, had different cultures.  Diverse characters for me are so important.

            I think the beauty of diversity does not just lie in the writing and character but in the representation, and the introduction of different lifestyles to all people. Diverse books are so much more realistic as they focus on the minorities that exist and should be noticed.

  • Huriyah @ SugarQuills – I think there’s a lot of improvement to be made in the representation of people identifying as LGBTQIA+ (especially POC). I’d like to see more representations of South Asians in books and I’d especially love to see better representation of people with mental illnesses like depression and eating disorders.

 

talk-to-me

So what do you think about diversity in books? What are some things you want to see more/less of?

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Do We Need Diversity In Books? // Peoples Thought’s, Opinion + More!

  1. I LOVE diversity in books! I think I got a bunch of diverse books lined up to read this year and possibly into the next. I would love to see more disabled and asexual characters though! I honestly think I’ll cry when there’s a YA book featuring an ace, disabled character with cerebral palsy ‘cos hey…I MADE IT INTO A BOOK!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great post! I absolutely agree that diversity in books (and other media) is so important because, like you said, not everyone is a blonde-haired, blue eyed, cishet able white person.

    I would love to see more diversity all around and I’m glad we’re making progress but there is still so much more that can be done. I’m “excessively empathic” so even if it’s not my marginalization, I thoroughly enjoy reading books with marginalized characters because I know that there’s someone who will be able to see themselves in it.

    Plus, it’s less boring than Becky jumping off a bridge with her bow and arrow to save her vampire boyfriend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely MORE!! I think we are in need of lots more diversity in YA, although I think it’s making excellent strides in the right direction, so that’s positive! But there are still tons of teens who’ll never pick up a book and see themselves represented and that’s totally sad…so I hope the diversity in YA keeps rising and keeps being accurate and awesome. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought I was following this blog, but I wasn’t??? 😄 And YES. I totally agree. I myself am trying to figure out ways to include diverse characters in books. I also think it extends beyond just race and into gender, sexuality, and religion. Great post!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s