Hello everyone and welcome to Wonder Wednesday! This particular wonder today is going to come with a lot of information so give it a read if you can and then we can chat. I’m so excited to share this with you!
Below is a TED talk from Chimamanda NGOZI Adichie. It’s all about how a single narrative in the stories that we’re all told and sold affect how we see ourselves and the world. I personally think this is a very powerful video about the importance of representation.
When Adichie mentions that as a young girl she only first wrote about little white girls it was eye opening for me. I, as a white person, obviously never had a problem finding stories about people that looked like me. But, while Adichie is the first person I heard speak about this issue she definitely isn’t the last or only one. In an article featuring Tomi Adeyemi she also mentions that she didn’t write about another black character until she was about 10. There’s many accounts like this. Now, I have no problem with people writing about those that are different from themselves. If it’s well written and tastefully done, but as kid these authors and other poc didn’t see themselves as being a part of the stories I got to enjoy. That’s a problem. There’s no question about it. Now, some progress is being made. There has been a large portion of the book community that is really pushing for more diverse books. There’s even a wonderful nonprofit, We Need Diverse Books, that is devoted to this cause. Not to mention a cool project, called Marginsbox, that’s currently in it’s Kickstater phase (*cough* go support it *cough*).Not to mention the countless book bloggers I’ve found that promote and discuss diverse books. Everyone deserves to be able to see themselves in some of the books they read. This is not only true for young kids who read picture books or middle grade books, but also young adult. I think this is where much of the push is and it’s so important. I work in education and let me tell you if you don’t already know. Adolescents are put under an extreme amount of pressure on the daily. There’s school and teachers, family members, friends, and they’re really starting to explore who they want to be as a person. All aforementioned groups have expectations and are pushing for something. I cannot stress enough how important it is for these kids to see themselves in books and movies. It really helps create a feeling of acceptance even if maybe you don’t feel that acceptance outside of a book. I even feel that now as an adult.
So, to the wondering portion of this long post.