Really Barnes & Noble and Penguin Random House? Did you think this was the best way to “kickoff” Black History Month? By slapping black faces on books that either don’t include us OR if by some miracle they do it’s some old false narrative that should literally be thrown in the garbage.
Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. About three days ago,— I didn’t hear about it until Tuesday evening, unfortunately — Barnes and Noble Fifth Avenue in collaboration with Penguin Random House thought it would be a great idea to take twelve classic “young adult” novels and slap “multi-ethnic faces“, on the cover in the name of inclusion and diversity. The picture below, since it is Black History Month in the U.S., show black faces on various covers. If you’d like to know more please click here .
So, in what world did either company think this would work? No seriously, I am genuinely concerned. Instead of maybe promoting POC YA books that already exist or are set to be released this month written by various people who identify as such? They thought this was the way for people to feel more recognized in literature.
Understand, this frustration stems from the copious amount of times people of color have to be reminded that we haven’t gotten as far as we’d hoped in the publishing industry. This is at worst, utterly tone deaf and a clear display of the need to have more POC in publishing.
Well those are my thoughts and feelings. I’d love to know your thoughts on the situation in the comments down below.