So we started the semester by reading Writing the Other by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward. It’s a slim volume with several essays, actually. There’s a useful discussion about the “unmarked state,” and a trip into the reptile brain:
The reptile brain will always remember the…bigoted information it learns, even when our conscious minds know the information is false.
(I’d give you the page number for this quote but I read it on my phone. It’s about 12% of the way through.)
The only caveat in my recommendation is the book’s assertion that class is not considered an important marker in America. I don’t know. All I ever heard is that poor people are leeches and if you don’t have resources it’s your own fault. Job creators are awesome, etc. Maybe it’s a generational thing and that’s why I don’t get the argument. It seems to me that class doesn’t matter in America in the same way that people claim to “not see color.”
But still, a useful and even reassuring place to start contemplating a trip out of your comfort zone.
- Writing the Other official website
- 12 Fundamentals of Writing the Other. Article on Buzzfeed by Daniel José Older.
- In 10 Years article about changing demographics.
- Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors. By Rudine Sims Bishop, The Ohio State University.
- I’m Not Your Token by Toni Bell on The Body Is Not an Apology.
- We Need Diverse Books. Seriously, we really do. This is the official site of the hashtag that became a movement.
- Diversity in Children’s Lit: Mediocrity Matters as Much as Masterpieces. An article in The Atlantic.
- Where’s the African American Harry Potter or the Mexican Katniss? An article on CNN.
- Diversity in YA. Blog of Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo. Our goal is to bring attention to books and authors that might fall outside the mainstream, and to bring the margin to the center.
- Continuing the Conversation: Authors, Illustrators and Editors Talk Diversity. An article in Publishers Weekly.