Children’s Literature: Who is in it makes all the difference!
Famed children’s/teen author Walter Dean Myers and his son, a children’s book author himself, Christopher Myers recently penned two articles in the New York Times, “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” and “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature” worth reading that describe why our young people of color in particularly need to see themselves reflected in what they read.
Here are a few noteworthy quotes to whet your appetite and chew on:
“As I discovered who I was, a black teenager in a white-dominated world, I saw that these characters, these lives, were not mine. I didn’t want to become the “black” representative, or some shining example of diversity. What I wanted, needed really, was to become an integral and valued part of the mosaic that I saw around me.” -Walter Dean Myers
“They are indeed searching for their place in the world, but they are also deciding where they want to go. They create, through the stories they’re given, an atlas of their world, of their relationships to others, of their possible destinations.” -Christopher Myers