I won’t lie, the social situation of today is scary…not only are we facing a new disease that is wreaking havoc on our ways of life and how we operate on a daily basis, but we are also paying witness to the rise of a new civil rights movement.
In case you have had as much issue facing the media over the past months as I have, all around the world we have seen multiple riots and protests kick up following the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis. These riots and protests have started new waves of demonstration featuring #BlackLivesMatter, and people are, to put it simply, split on the matter. If you would like to reach out for resources you can start your deep dive into modern racial inequality, I would be happy to provide you with some sources. I recommend that the best way to take a stance is to always educate yourself on the issues and the facts and opinions, from both sides of the aisle.
I won’t go into my beliefs or thoughts on the current social situation, although I will take a firm stance and say that that human rights are basic rights. We have seen throughout history issues of race, color, subjugation, sexism and multiple other injustices we recognize as fundamentally wrong. I am left, as a librarian, hoping that I can help add my voice to the advocacy that supports our fellow human beings, especially those from marginalized and denigrated societies.
So that’s what I’m aiming to do here; in the modern publishing world we have sadly witnessed a dearth of voice from POC (people of color). This is a widely-recognized fact within the book realm: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/9aex3p/read-between-the-racism-the-serious-lack-of-diversity-in-book-publishing. Think of the authors you most consistently see on the shelf at your local library- to name a few off today’s bestseller list: James Patterson, Nora Roberts, John Grisham, David Baldacci, and Jennifer Weiner: https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/2020/06/07/hardcover-fiction/.
What do we see? White (mostly male) authors who dominate the scene. Now, I’m not saying these authors don’t deserve bestseller status- they are excellent authors who continuously write big-name books that go on to top the charts for weeks on end.
What we need, however, is more diversity in the publishing realm, and on our shelves. As such, I’ve compiled a list below of these such writers who range across a variety of genres. I’ve noted where these are available through the library, and they are all available for pickup (since we’re now open for curbside at NOPL). I hope you take advantage and add some of these to your own TBR shelves.