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Monday, October 5, 2015

Guess How Many Black Characters Are Featured in Children's Books -- Not Even 3%

It's A Sad Fact That Less Than 3% Of Children's Books Feature Black Characters

According to The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper, a study in the US showed that among 3,200 children's books published in 2013, only 93 were about black people. That is less than 3 percent. How are black children supposed to learn about diversity if they are not represented in books?

Why black children are not represented in books

To make matters worse, the numbers of books featuring black characters has actually decreased over the years. According to research done by the Cooperative Children's Book Centre at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, there were 171 children's books at the Centre ten years ago that included characters who were black, but that number has now dwindles down to just 93.

Many fear the problem is with publicists who hesitate to introduce into the market books that feature black characters on the cover. The fear is that they will not sell well among non-black audiences. There is even further hesitation to introduce books that talk about mixed families. All of this results in offering books that really do not show an accurate picture of today's society. Even worse, it does nothing to teach children early the value of diversity.

Why it is so important

Beth Cox, who works for inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children's literature through an organization called Inclusive Minds, states, "All children have the right to be included in books, to see faces that they can relate to on the covers." She believes that the only way children can learn about others who are different but also have similarities is by seeing them in books.

Read more by visiting www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/20/diversity-children-books-colour-young-people


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