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To support dialogue, comments are not moderated. Therefore, anonymous comments are not permitted, and comments are filtered for spam and profanity. Additionally, comments may be edited or deleted as follows:
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The owners of this blog reserve the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to this blog without notice. This comment policy is subject to change at any time.
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We know this is unwieldy for some, and we know it feels as if Google is taking over the world, but we intentionally have the comments set to require a log-in via one of several Google-related options (the only ones Blogger provides) because it lessens the chance of anonymous commenters.
We consider this an important point because people of color and First Nations/Native individuals, unlike white people, rarely have the option of being anonymous as they move through the world, and certainly don’t when they are battling racism. This was among the things we considered when when creating the blog and one of the decisions we made was that we ourselves could never be anonymous—every post is attached to one of our names or, occasionally, is posted from the RWW login if it represents a shared statement from all of us.
We want dialogue in the comments, and we realize the need to log in may be a barrier to some. Additionally, we know that someone can log in under a false profile or provide limited information about themselves. We are also aware that an online community may provide a rare opportunity of anonymity for some.
We’ve considered all of this and ultimately still come down on the side of requiring that commenters log in. We think people interested in engaging, questioning, and exploring issues of diversity in children’s and young adult literature will understand our point about anonymity and our desire to create a space that we hope encourages a meaningful exchange.
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I am so happy to have found this site. I am not a librarian, but a Friend of the Library in Northern Nevada. I am also a book reviewer and a very unsophisticated book collector. I love children's picture books and especially the push for picture books featuring children of color. As a white person, I've been thinking a lot about how is it that this country's racism is so embedded? So I've been paying more attention to pictures and words in children's books and a closer look at how events are covered in history books, especially those used in classrooms and read by students (children). What is not covered in history books is as damaging as what is included.
My favorite author as a kid was Marguerite Henry and today I have a wonderful collection of her books. One book, "The Little Fellow" shocked me when first read. Both in text and illustrations the depiction of the black groom is blatantly racist. The book was published in 1945, just a few years before I began to read. I only found this book a few years ago, so I never read it as a kid. Since I love this author I found it hard to believe she would write the groom's speech as she did, or that she approved of the illustrations. Thinking about it with more curiosity and less anger, I realized that this is exactly why we in the States remain, at heart, a racist country. It begins early, in the books we read to our children. These kinds of characterizations and illustrations are written and drawn without a thought, and thoughtlessness in a book can be dangerous. At some point in time, this book was edited (Scholastic 1989) and the black groom named Whitey became an Irish groom named Dooley. The text was also cleaned up. I have never been able to track down the chronology of the changes, but would like to know how they came about. The more I thought about the welcome changes, the more I thought about how utterly inconsequential they are. Instead of eliminating Whitey, why not simply leave him in, but depict him as a professional groom, a man of caring concern for the animals he dealt with? The change to an Irish groom? What, no Caucasian without an ethnic identity would stoop to being a groom? 1989 was certainly an improvement over 1945, but it is obvious we need even more improvement. I have taken three photos from the two editions and if you would like to see them I would be happy to share. Once again, I am so glad to have found your site and the work you do to bring awareness to such an important issue. My site (http://bookin'withsunny.com) reviews for a general readership and includes some reviews of pictures books with children of color as the main characters. Carry on your good work.
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Glad to have found this site!!!!
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