Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why We Need White Readers to Pay Attention

If you saw my last post about the cover of Liar, you know that the publishing company put a picture of a White girl with long hair on the cover, while the character describes herself as a Black girl with short hair. The publishing company claims that the character is a liar, and this is just another one of her lies.

However, if you look at Justine Larbalestier's post about it, which I included in my last post, this was obviously not her intention. She was against the cover in the first place, and the publishing company knew it. Why did they use it anyway? Because white teens simply don't buy books with black people on their covers. I asked why in my last post, but I suspect I will never get an answer.

I've got a challenge for you. Read Collen's post about it at Chasing Ray, and make a decision for yourself. I think that any sensible person who is for equality will care about this issue.

Next, e-mail Deb.Shapiro@bloomsburyusa.com in PR and tell her that you think this is wrong. Because it really is just wrong.

Why do we want White readers to do this? Because we want to show this company that this isn't just a Black issue. We want to show them that White teens, the people they think won't buy a book with a Black girl on the cover, care about this issue too. We want to show them that they can make money, while staying true to characters of all races.

This could be one small step toward demolishing the separate African-American Lit section in bookstores. We got rid of "separate but equal" bathrooms and restaurants. Why are our bookstores still "separate but equal"?

Please e-mail Ms. Shapiro. That's really all I can say. The decision remains yours.

Tashi <3

P.S. Read what Ari at Reading in Color has to say here, Shalonda's opinion here, what Susan at Color Online thinks here, and what Reviewer X adds here.

5 comments:

Color Online said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Color Online said...

Tashi,

Your generation has the power to affect change. I am anxiously waiting to hear from teen bloggers.

There is has been plenty of discussion of how much influence bloggers have. Well, here is the time to say something really important.

Let's hope you get responses here and Bloomsbury gets an onslaught of emails.

farmlanebooks said...

I am shocked by the racism of this publisher. I really hope your campaign works - this sort of thing shouldn't be happening in 2009.

Kelly @ The Novel Bookworm said...

I'm an old lady, fer cryin' out loud, sort of a redneck who spent thirty years in a tiny town in Montana before moving to So. Cal..and I think that's just the stupidest thing I've ever read a publisher say. Who cares what color the person on the cover is? An attractive cover with a kick ass synopsis on the back will sell the book.

Its just insulting and irritating as hell to have the person on the cover not match the person in the book. They should be ashamed of themselves....

Allison said...

Thank you for your compliment about my blog :)


Also, I posted about this on my blog so hopefully even more people will see and speak up.

 
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