OK, I’m going to connect the dots today. I’m going to start at point A, that being Ari. If you read my blog, you probably already read her letter, so if you need a refresher, here’s what Salon did with her letter. Whether choosing to put a white woman on the cover of a book about a dark skinned character through laziness or prejudice, it is proving to be quite a blunder. You see, people of color do read, we do understand the dollar vote and we do expect fairness and equity in the marketplace. You see, America is browning and our mad computer skills are bringing POC all together!
From point A, we’re going Into the Wardrobe. From whitewashing people of the covers, to whitewashing dragons. Don’t take this lightly. Dragons are extremely significant in Chinese culture as they representing supreme earthy and supernatural powers. Books meant to contain stories from the Chinese diaspora should be represented by an authentically Chinese dragon. Whether representing people or cultural icons our message is the same: let’s get it right.
Finally, we’re going around the bend to the HappyNappyBookseller. Did you read her on Leaving Gees Bend?
f I knew nothing about sharecropping, after I read that passage I would think it was just people working the someone else land for a fair price. I have a difficult time believing that a father would not tell his family the truth about it. Let’s say the father is passive and too scared to speak out. What about the 16 yr old son? It’s even harder for me to believe that a son wouldn’t speak out against it.
Writing outside your culture is all but impossible to do well. To write about the experience of another culture, you have to step inside their world. Of course Blacks and Whites viewed sharecropping differently. In a book about a young Black girl, we would know the hardships her family faced. One learns this by talking to or interviewing people of color. or: READ THEIR BOOKS!! Needless to say, Doret was more than a little disappointed with this book. I will give this book a fair chance, I’ll read it for myself and then I will only post a positive review. If you don’t hear from me on it again, stick with Doret’s review.
So, I’ve connected the dots. The truth? Be proud to be who you are, be so fearlessly, but it doing so you must give others the same room to be themselves. Fearlessly.
6 thoughts on “The truth shall set you free”
nicely put, Edi. I need to look into the dragon issue since I’m reading Cindy Pon right now and just wondered why they didn’t put a dragon on the cover…
Thank you, Edi. I had some reservations about this book and I didn’t want to. I reserve judgment but Doret and I agree more often than not so my concern just went up a notch.
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You may not have seen me Susan, but I’ve been following it. Workdays leave little time!
“Be proud to be who you are, be so fearlessly, but it doing so you must give others the same room to be themselves. Fearlessly.” —–> I love this, Edi.
Thank you for helping spread the word about the whitewashing of dragons. Have you heard about the whitewashing of book covers by Little, Brown? Racebending on the covers of The Mysterious Benedict Society books by Trenton Lee Stewart. Yuck.
Edi, I thank you particularly for your sensitive comment regarding the whitewashing of dragons on book cover. It helped broadening my understanding of the issue. The best I could compare it would be like a foreign country drawing the American flag and erasing a few stars and stripes.
I usually shy away from reviewing books I don’t like but with Leaving Gee’s Bend I knew I couldn’t. I want people to think about the issues I raised while they read it.
And Edi I do hope you’ll post a review of Leaving Gee’s Bend – either way. I think its time people knew where we stand.
How hard is it to get the right Dragon a cover. You would think the publishers would show it to the authors, who have work in the collection.
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