August 22nd, 2009

Gil Marsh cover

White privilege in children's publishing

An article by Laura Atkins on White Privilege in Children's Publishing is interesting, especially after reading J.L. Bell's take on what he views as the realities of race in children's publishing*. Her post is about the subtle and often not-so-subtle whitewash of works by or about people of color, by changing text and covers to make them more pleasing for white, middle class educators. She concludes that the problems reflect a broad cultural problem within children's publishing, not the work of a few unenlightened editors or publishers.

Atkins is up front that her report is only a small element of a larger study, and provides mostly anecdotal evidence. She promises more information in a future paper which I look forward to reading.

Thank you Justine Larbalestier for the alert.

* I originally responded to J.L. Bell's post here.