So how can it be that in 2010, this is where we find ourselves:Of course, the post is about more than children's books; that context, however, makes the concept of white privilege very accessible, I think.
*The percentage of published children’s books featuring characters of color is far smaller than - perhaps less than half - the percentage of people of color in the U.S. population, and the majority of these books are still created by white writers and illustrators.
*Many of the most popular book series, particularly in fantasy, have no significant characters of color at all.
*Cases of “whitewashing” book jackets, of editors requesting that an author erase a character’s ethnicity so that a book “can reach a larger audience,” of booksellers or librarians passing on certain titles because “our community doesn’t respond to those kinds of books,” suggest an assumption that white readers won’t respond to characters of color.
And so on.
I want to suggest a cause for the gap between our intention and the reality we’ve created: the patterns formed by white American socialization, which I’ll call White Mind.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Thanks to Mama C who posted a link on facebook, here's an interesting take on white privilege in children's literature from children's book illustrator Anne Sibley O'Brien at Coloring Between the Lines: