Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The World Agrees

I'm so, so honored to be a part of the WeNeedDiverse panel at this year's BookCon! Yes, BookCon realized (after the WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign went viral) that diverse books and their authors are a vital part of book culture and made changes. The campaign organizers were invited to give a panel and they very graciously asked me to be a part of it.

It's a bittersweet victory for diverse books.  As I mentioned earlier, we've been having this conversation for years. The Ugly Vegetables was first published in 1999 and, while there have been some strides, I realize there's been very little ground covered in these last 15 years. But, maybe, with the WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign unleashing the power of social media, we can have this conversation again with some more substantial changes. We have to try, at least!

But we also need everyone to partake in the discussion and act. My worry is that this issue becomes an "Us" vs "Them" issue--each person confused on who the "us" and the "them" are. Authors vs Booksellers? Readers vs. Publishers? People of Color vs Caucasians?

Well, it's none of the above. We ALL need diverse books. And I hope we can all work together to so that everyone can have them.

How? I have some ideas and thoughts that I'll start sharing here...and maybe we can figure things out at the panel! If you can, please come to the panel discussion and help pack the house. Let's prove to BookCon that we care beyond our keyboard and that a group of diverse authors can get a standing-room-only crowd, too!