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“It isn’t hard to find writers of color. All you have to do is read.”
Check out this article by Roxane Gay, over at The Rumpus.
A great deal of the conversation about publishing and diversity is grounded in the idea that there simply aren’t many writers of color. One of the most frequent derailments during any conversation about this topic is the belief that because of historical, institutional racism and the socioeconomic consequences thereof, there simply aren’t as many writers of color. It’s also popular to create an exhausting statistical frenzy by talking about data collection and submission ratios and the like. These are comforting explanations. If we can blame history and institutional racism, if we can blame math, we don’t have to accept responsibility for reading narrowly.
She continues, building towards her list (be sure to check the comments, too, for reader-generated additions to the list):
Earlier this summer, I put out a call for names of writers of color so there might be a resource to help people read and publish more diversely. This list was not designed to pigeonhole writers or suggest that they should be identified by race or ethnicity. These are writers who also happen to be people of color. This is not a token list of writers to go to when you need someone to write about race—these writers write about a wide range of subjects. Some of these writers are familiar and others are up and coming. I’ve listed the writers in alphabetical order by first name with genre and online presence information provided by the individuals who put the names forth. As such, this information is incomplete but it is a start, a compass point to orient you.
There are a great many writers who are not on this list. That is the point of all this. You cannot possibly list every writer of color working today. We are many. We are everywhere. The world of letters is far more diverse than the publishing climate would lead us to believe. You only need to open your eyes and open your mind. I challenge everyone to pick five (or more) writers from this list with whom you are not familiar, look up their work, see what these writers are about.
It isn’t hard to find writers of color. All you have to do is read.
Full article here.