I am taking a short break from my normal fare to write a short post recommending that everyone consider donating to the We Need Diverse Books Indiegogo campaign. There are a million reasons why we need diverse books, most of which are outlined on the campaign page by youth and authors. In fact, I can't think of any argument that someone could have against needing more diversity in books.
In the past five years or so, I have been making a more concerted, conscious effort to examine my own privilege, and to explore points of view that are different from my own. I think it's something that white folks especially can struggle with, because our representation in books and media is the majority. We see ourselves in movies and books all of the time, so it's easy to say, "Oh, great, there's that reflection of me. And there's another one. And another. I'm covered. Moving on." An African-American friend of mine even had white friends in college ask her why there was a need for a network like BET. Her response was that it's questions like that which are exactly the reason.
All that to say, I personally want to see more diverse books because that is the world that I live in. I don't exist in an homogenized land where I hang out with all my white, hetero, cisgender friends and family. I am only able to live my experience in reality, but in books, I can delve into others' experiences. I want to expand my horizons, learn new things, encounter people different from myself. (My thoughts go deeper than that, delving into opinions on the Seattle metro area where I live, its unofficial semi-segregation and lack of diversity, and the disservice that I think that is doing to our community.) I believe that diversity is truly the best thing for society; so many of the conflicts that occur are out of fear or misunderstanding of something different from ourselves.
Also, unlike most crowdfunded projects, donations to We Need Diverse Books are tax-deductible!
For more information—including the author video about why we need diverse books—visit the Indiegogo campaign page here.