April 7, 2008

Manic Monday: 1,000


The Manic Monday meme word today is 1,000.

Villagers, I hope is that it won't take 1,000 years for our nation to become the 'more perfect union' that Barack Obama spoke about in Philadelphia last month. We have mishandled, fumbled, stumbled and generally messed race relations up in our generation ... our parent's generation ... our grandparent's generation and so forth thru the birth of our nation.

One reason I support Barack Obama is that his vision for our country is filtered through the lens of his existence as the child of a Black father and a white mother. As such, he may be able to show us by his own personal character and judgement that positive race relations is possible. However, there are other things we need to do to ensure harmonious and productive race relations in America over the next 1,000 years!

One thing we can do today is ensure that our children see themselves and the diversity of our nation in the books that they read.

Did you know that the number of African American Children’s Book authors published in 2007 has declined nearly 12% since 2006! The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) has tracked children’s books by and about people of color in the US since 1994. Recently the CCBC released the 2007 stats - an estimated 77 children’s books by African American authors were published in 2007 out of an estimated 5,000 children’s books published! [SOURCE]

It made me sad to learn this information today. I hope my future generations over the coming 1,000 years of our nation's glorious existence on this planet will be marked by a 'more perfect union'. I hope that all of us support and encourage our libraries, bookstores and childcare-providers to demand more African American children's books for all of our children to read in 2008 and beyond.

You can begin today. Be one of the next 1,000 people to purchase Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria for a child you know!



15 comments:

Sarge Charlie said...

thank you so much for your kind remarks on my Manic Monday 1000 post, I am hopeful that it will not take a 1000 years for you to realize your dream of equality.

jvdhj said...

Very interesting post! :)

Thanks for the warm welcome to MM! :)

Have a great week! :)

Nancy Lindquist-Liedel said...

As I worked in my kitchen on Friday, I listened to Martin Luthur King Junior's last speech and felt sick and sad that forty years have passed and yes so much of his wonderful vision has eluded us.

Lois Grebowski said...

Happy MM!

I was not aware of the lack of African-American children's book authors. Yes, we definitely need more!

:-D)

trying said...

thanks for stopping by my blog. interesting post for 1000.

have a great manic monday!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Such a long way to go on both side of the fence. Excellent post. Have a great MM. :)

Jamie said...

I totally support the idea of authors of different cultures writing about those cultures so that we all grow by the experience.

Then there are the authors of many different cultures that simply write wonderful books such as Pushkin and Dumas.

the teach said...

Why would there be fewer African American authors being published Wayne? I don't understand that...

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i am of the older generation and i remember the riot in baltimore in the 60's, i lived there then. we HAVE come a long way, i think both sides need to move more though. recently i felt some real racism directed towards me when i asked a young lady not to let any more of her friends cut the line in front of me. she had already let two in front of me with their purchases. she turned around and told me i had nothing to do but go home and die anyway so to shut up. she had on a mlk tee shirt. he would have been so proud. yes, we both have a ways to go...

thanks for the visit.

smiles, bee

eliz.hicks said...

Villager,
I must have missed something. What is Manic Monday?

Iya

Villager said...

Nancy - It's now up to us to ensure that another forty don't slip by. We must bring the dream closer to reality...

Teach - Part of it is economics. If the authors from 2005 didn't have success (nobody bought their books because America isn't used to having Black children's books in their library) then they would not have an economic reason to continue writing and publishing in 2006 ... and so forth. In my view, the answer is that America becomes more diverse in their choice of children's books to purchase...

Empress Bee - There is never an excuse for rudeness whether it is race-based or simply ignorance-based. You did the right thing by calling them on it. Even though they didn't show respect to you ... perhaps it sinks into their mind so they think twice next time...

Iya - It is a weekly blog meme. The MM-creator (guy named Morgen) issues a word each weekend and then bloggers all over the world post something using that word. Today's word was a number, "1,000". I cheated a little because I wanted to post on Kyra's guest-blogging efforts re: children's books ... so I incorporated what I wanted to do anyhow into the MM meme to get two things done in one post...

peace, Villager (or Omo to Iya)

Regina said...

Awesome post villager! I bet that was not expected for 1000!
Peace & Love!

Keith said...

Villager!

Thanks so much for shouting out about the importance of books and reading!

Travis said...

Tolerance and respect...we can't go anywhere without it.

Happy MM!

Kyra said...

Teach, There's probably many reasons why there were fewer PUBLISHED African American authors in 2007 - fewer overall number of children's books being published (I don't have these stats), the CCBC didn't have other all the children's books published by authors of color in 2007 (not sure how many self-published books were included), fewer NEW authors of color being published in the kids lit field, etc. It helps to have a forum for encouraging current and potential kids lit authors - one source is The Brown Bookshelf - http://thebrownbookshelf.com/

Thanks Wayne for sharing the stats - Your sister - Kyra