Tag Archives: diversity

Make Reading “Diverse” Authors The Goal, Not the Challenge

Earlier this week, BuzzFeed Staff member, Alexis Nedd, published a post called “My 2015 Reading List Includes Nothing Written By White Men.” According to Nedd, “After a long time reading books written by people in publishing’s privileged majority, I want to spend a year seeking some balance in the perspectives and voices I take in.”

Are white men overrepresented in almost every aspect of the publishing industry, as Nedd states? Sure. Male authors still produce about 75 percent of the work being published. And while men make up only 26 percent of the publishing workforce, 89 percent of that workforce identifies as white.

Putting those numbers in perspective, however, also means that there is a great deal of work being published by authors who are neither white or male. Forbes estimates that somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books are published each year (nearly half of those are self-published). If even a quarter of those books are written by diverse authors—women and men of all shapes, colors, and backgrounds—then that’s still more books than one person can hope to read in a lifetime.

It’s hard to be critical of a personal commitment, like Nedd’s, that 1) gets people reading, 2) gets people talking, and 3) points readers to books that they may not have otherwise heard of. But my own bias is this: most of the books I read every year are written by women. That isn’t because the publishing industry shoves those books at me. It’s because I gravitate towards them, and I believe that’s how most readers are. Nicole, a fellow blogger, reads graphic novels because she wants to. And Tiffany reads YA because she wants to. Entire blogs are dedicated to specific genres because those are the types of books that audience can’t get enough of.

From Amora to Zatanna: July

FATZ

Alight comic fans, let’s get right to it this month. Where DC’s “New 52” is just failing in the reboot comic department, “Marvel Now” is kicking ass and taking names. Here are just a few ways Marvel Now is progressing with the ideals mass and geek culture seem to be adopting for themselves:

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1) Brian Wood’s and Olivier Coipel’s all-female team for X-Men:

When initially announced, many fans believed it to be a publicity stunt akin to Marvel Divas back in 2009. However, the tight storytelling of Wood and non-sexualized artistry of Coipel has given us a comic series featuring the badass X-(wo)men we have all come to love and admire. The content not only engages the once hidden female comic audience, but your basic male comic audience as well, proving that stories focused solely on women protagonists can be just as exciting as any other story featuring men. Plus, how can you not celebrate the return of Storm’s 80s mohawk?

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2) Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel:

Again, the initial announcement of this title was met with criticism. Many groups were thrown by the Muslim American heritage of the new protagonist, claiming the comic to be some type of propaganda. But it is this exact reaction that illustrates the necessity for this comic heroine! Not only is she a woman of color, who are severely underrepresented in most popular culture, but she is a Muslim American. This comic was intended to dispel many of the common misconceptions held by various groups in the US about Muslim Americans and confront them with the truth that they are just like any other American citizen.