|[Image found here]|
They're kind of a self-dooming prophecy for most people. And while I'm hoping my 31st year on this planet will bring with it more resolve and positive growth, I know a few of my personal resolutions will likely fall by the wayside early. But one I'm planning to work hard on, and that means the most to you fellow readers, is my resolution to read more diversely.
Book Riot has coincidentally challenged all of its contributors to read more diversely as well, so I've got a built in support system! The challenge was to read a third of the yearly total diversely. My goal is to read books exclusively written by women and people of color. Ideally women of color.
And before a single one of you pipes up with "But a lot of really great books are written by white men!" I know. I've read a lot of them. I have a preference for British science fiction and fantasy. I read a lot of (very talented) white men. One of my favorite books last year was written by a white man. They don't need my help. And those books will still be there for me to read any time I'd like. But in 2015, they don't get my attention.
My growing vocalization of my long-held feminist belief system and my efforts to become more active in the community have helped spurn this project. I am thrilled about the soon-to-be-released series The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency which features fictionalized versions of Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley as kids. It's for beginner readers and I'm so stoked about it. But I was surprised at myself for being disappointed when I found out the author, Jordan Stratford, was a white dude. It's not that he's doing anything wrong, and I wish more people - men, women, androids - were working as hard to get kick-ass female historical figures onto the next generations radar. I think it was mostly an "a ha" moment that made me finally become aware of who is writing the stories I devour.
I also want to be a more active ally to people of color. My white-privilege spawned blindness is strong. Even married to a black man, I'm blissfully unaware of many racial related slights that he notices on a daily basis. Taking my blinders off in 2015 is crucial. While I'll never personally understand what people of color go through, I can help purchase, read and promote their works.
So I'm challenging you, too. Whether you want a fully immersive experience like I'm aiming for, or prefer the more realistic and practical and less soap-boxy approach of the Book Riot encouraged one-third, I challenge you to read more diversely this year too. Be conscious of your authors and your protagonists. #readdiversely #diversitymatters