A recent study found that less than three percent of children’s books last year featured black characters.
According to an analysis of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people. Famed Young Adult author Walter Dean Myers tackled the issue in an editorial for The New York Times.
“Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity,” Myers writes. “What is the message when some children are not represented in those books? Where are the future white personnel managers going to get their ideas of people of color? Where are the future white loan officers and future white politicians going to get their knowledge of people of color? Where are black children going to get a sense of who they are and what they can be?”
Over the years, there have been quite a few books featuring black characters which have helped to give children a sense of self.
This blog post appeared originally in TheGrio.com, written by Donovan X. Ramsey (@DXR), March 2014
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Miss Nana Wyshall B. Wright has been visiting with many of her favorite children the last two weeks. She and Ole Mr. Johns have been having a great time taking the children to the park to see the ducks in the pond, to the amusement park where the children rode the roller coaster and the Ferris wheel screaming and laughing the whole time and to the beach where they built a very large fort with sand and water. WHEwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!
She and Ole Mr. Johns hope your last two weeks were as much fun. One thing she learned, as well as how tired young children can make you, was how much they can teach you. She and Ole Mr. Johns learned how to see each experience through young eyes and it made everything so much more fun. She learned one again, that life is great, and her life is great.
A FEW WORDS FROM THE AUTHOR
When I write to you on this blog I always have something that inspires me to do so. Thursday I really had not seen, heard or “experienced “anything that I felt was exceptional to share with you. Sometimes this happens. Every single Ole Mr. Johns story was “given” to me by some inspiration, a muse. That is how, when and why I write. Visions of stories, experiences or dreams inspire me to put them into words to share. Today Little John’s mother called to tell me that she was coming to visit next week and would be staying with me. I am still smiling. Many more stories are coming.