Due to the ongoing/never-ending state of the world and my recent foray into #kidsbookstagram, I’ve been taking a MUCH closer look at the collection of books I have amassed for my children. In that looking, and to my shame, I have noticed something.
The majority of our collection gets a FAILING grade on diversity and inclusion.
I could blame this on the fact that 95% of the books we own are second hand. Furthermore, 90% have come from thrift stores like Value Village and Talize. In those instances, you pretty much get what you get. But, for the other 5% I purchased second-hand online, the same cannot be said.
What it truly boils down to is this, however:
I come to this realization in a position of privilege.
As a white person, I’ve never had to sit down and ponder if there were enough books in our collection that represent us.
I’ve never had to purposefully purchase or borrow books that represent us.
White people hold this position of power.
We are already in every book of nearly every type — to the point of over-saturation.
People of differing colour, beliefs, abilities, sex, gender, sexual orientations – are not.
All of this were things I already knew. But, did knowing it change or effect my children’s book collection? Nope.
‘Cause as a white person, these are all taken for granted luxuries of our hegemonic identity.
My beliefs in a socially justice world may be strong, and I have been strongly educated as such (thanks, @douglascollege and @capilanou) but I still have so so SO much more work to do — both on myself, and in the raising of my children. Part of this is reexamining the books we own, the books were read, and the conversations that come from these books.
I humbly accept this moment of learning, and am committed to making a change.
Thanks, @nwplibrary, in helping me take a first step forward today.