So, a few days ago, I decided that I didn’t want to participate in both Top Ten Tuesday and Top Five Wednesday. It just seems a little much to me- compiling 15-item lists every single week. I find myself repeating a lot of the answers and I just wasn’t having fun. But I also knew that I wanted to have at least two blog memes in a given week- no more, no less. Top Ten Tuesday is too much fun to give up, so I needed a replacement for T5W. I know there are so many fantastic memes out there, but I decided to create my own: a weekly spotlight that illuminates diverse literature specifically.
If you’re active in the bookish community, you’re probably aware of the “We Need Diverse Books” movement. It’s so incredibly important that stories with diverse characters as leads are emphasized. For young children and young adults to read literature and see their cultures, their values, themselves reflected in what they are reading. We have been programmed to read about a character and automatically assume they are able-bodied, cisgender, heterosexual and Caucasian. And the vast majority of literature, specifically YA literature, features these characters. When in truth, people of all colors, faiths, ethnicities, sexualities exist and are just as important and interesting as anyone else. And they are just not represented to their fullest in literature.
But perhaps even more than that, I think it is incredibly important to feature diverse authors. Authors who are not Caucasian and are writing about their cultures: like Junot Díaz writes about his culture, like Jhumpa Lahiri writes about hers. It is important to give these authors a spotlight so that their work can also be brought to the forefront. Their own voices are more accurate and more sensitive- they let us step into their shoes and think about their work from a less objective point of view.
I’ve also noticed that a lot of people have come to expect every single author out there to include diverse characters in their casts, which is wonderful if they do, but these authors are bashed if they do not. The readers who bash them are generally those readers who only pick up the most talked-about books and do not make an effort to read diverse literature. If you are a proponent of diverse literature, you have to go outside your box and read those books that are less popular. It is up to you to read these books and give them the spotlight they deserve. Practice what you preach.
Just a little note: while I know that many of my readers mostly read young adult literature, I will try my best to give you a more diverse range of genres in these posts. Since this meme is focused on diversity, I will try to include many different genres, including adult fiction. There are so many fantastic, international writers out there who do not write in the YA genre, and their stories are often overlooked by younger readers. These stories are full of multiculturalism, of hard-hitting experiences told with poignance and sensitivity. It’s so important that if you are a proponent of diverse literature, you need to read diversely as well.
What the Meme Will Consist Of
Diversity Spotlight will take place every Thursday, and it will be featuring three books in any given week:
- A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
- A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
- A diverse book that has not yet been released
Talking about a book that you have read and enjoyed may give your readers a push to read it, and you have done something in spreading love for a diverse book. Talking about a book that you want to read may help readers of your blog tell you more about the book if they have read it, thus giving you a push to pick it up sooner than you otherwise would have. And finally, talking about an unreleased diverse book will hopefully help the book get some buzz before it hits the shelves.
I don’t require anything, but if you decide to participate, here are a few things that would be much, much appreciated.
- In all your posts, if you could give a brief description of what the meme is and who hosts it (linking it to this post so new bloggers can get all the background and the intention behind the meme), that would be MUCH appreciated. But again, not required.
- Feel free to use the banner above. No need to credit!
- Please also feel free to leave your links in the comment section of my posts. That way, I can keep up with everyone participating while also adding more and more diverse literature to my TBR. 🙂
- You can use the hashtag #DiversityThursday to feature your posts on other social media platforms
- Have fun!