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Baby Books for Us. Mini Rant on the Lack of Books for Children of Color

Some of you have already heard me rant about the lack of children’s books by and for people of color so I will just do a short rant in this post now for those who don’t know the deal. I plan to build on this in the coming days so look out for baby book and children’s book recommendations later this week.

Mini Rant on Books by and for Children of Color…

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Look at this baby. He doesn’t know who he is. He is lost in the world.

There are not enough of them! Our kids are growing up reading and seeing white characters everywhere and are missing the message that Black is Beautiful, Brown is Beautiful, Asian, Native American – everything that is not white is generally lacking in the children’s books industry (In the publishing/book industry in general too… in academia, in library services, in the owning and maintaining of bookstores, printers…I could go on, but I digress). Suffice to say we need A LOT more representation.

In 2013 there were 5,000 children’s books published in the U.S. and only 93 of them were about African-Americans. That’s a disgrace. If you think the numbers are better for other people of color you’d be wrong, they’re not. Last year 34 books about Native Americans were published, 69 about Asians, and 57 about Latinos. Horrible. If our children don’t see themselves, how can they love themselves? How can they even know who they are? their history? their culture? It should not take until your college level Ethnic or Black studies class for you to really begin to understand the contributions of your ancestors or the variety of dialogs, narratives, and knowledges within your community. We have to start sooner!

…Ok, done with rant. Onto more positive things. Here are some adorable baby pictures.

Look out for baby book and children’s book recommendations to come!

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This post was written by Kristin Richardson Jordan, Pens Up Press
Stats from the Cooperative Children's Book Center
Pictures from cute black babies, cute indian babies blogspot, 
the New Gerber Baby: Mary Jane Montoya, www.eurweb.com

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