Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Racism in Publishing

Here is a post from Karen Scott - while reading her blog I discovered something that shocked me - in the US, books are separated by race. Yes, I'm afraid it's ture. Several people said that books in their bookstores (such as Borders) are segregated. Black authors and black characters on something called an AA shelf. Evern romance books are kept apart from 'white' romance books.
I will admit I never noticed this. Mostly because I buy my books from either Amazon or a very small bookstore near my mom's house in NY. I was really shocked when I heard this. My husband was shocked when he heard this. He's French. Does this shock anyone else?
At any rate, here is Karen's post - if anyone can help her out, please do!

Racism In Publishing, How Does It Affect You?

Are you an African American author who’s been published for at least one year? If so Karen Scott wants to hear from you.

She’s conducting a survey based on the racism within the publishing industry, and whether or not it’s as prevalent as some believe. She’s looking for black or African American authors who have been published for at least one year.

She would like to know about your specific experiences within the industry thus far. She wants to know how AA authors feel about the current shelving policies, and niche marketing. She wants to know who you feel is to blame for the problems that you face. She also wants your suggestions on how things can be improved upon.

In all, there are twenty questions in the survey, and all that she asks is that people be as honest as possible. Confidentiality is assured if requested, but for the findings to yield more weight, she would request that she be granted permission to directly quote from the answers given by the authors.

She’s hoping to poll at least 100 AA authors, in an effort to ensure that a fair representation is achieved.

If enough authors agree to partcipate, (and depending on the findings) the results may well be sent to representatives within media and press. No promises that Oprah will hear about it, but all efforts will be made to get the message out.

If there are AA authors out there interested in participating in this poll, please e-mail Karen at hairylemony @ gmail. com (without the spaces) with the subject header ‘Please send me the survey'.

The deadline for the survey to be completed and returned to Karen is March 1st 2007


Wynn Bexton said...

That is shocking. But then, I am not entirely surprised by the stuff I hear going on in the U.S.A. Next, I suppose it will be writers from the Arab world who are 'segregated.' (I have certainly never noticed this sort of literary segregation anywhere in Canada.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised either, actually, even if I was shocked.
And if the Arab writers are segregated, then I'll be in trouble, since half my family is Arab.

Oopsy Daisy said...

I shop at Borders bookstore and they don't have authors segragated by race, but I noticed they do at Barnes and Noble. What ever happened to picking a book by content, not by race of the author?

I shouldn't be so suprised. Sad really.

Tara Marie said...

My local B&N and Borders are the opposite of Oopsy Daisy's. Though all Wal*Marts separate AA Fiction from everything else.

If you read all of the comments on Dear Author yesterday you'll see Monica Jackson comment Some AA readers state they want to be able to browse only black-authored books in the bookstores. She goes on to say it's wrong no matter who perpetrates the racism.

Anonymous said...

hey there. shocking post!
I was missing you on L J, then remembered you were over here. I have a blogger account too, but haven't used it in so long, I can't remember the info for it! duh.
: )


Anonymous said...

Hi Daisy! I agree with you completely!

Tara, I went to see that and I was surprised - I'm not sure I believe there are too many people who want to keep books segregated though.

Hi Laura!!
So glad you dropped by! Yes, shocking post isn't it? LOL