Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An editor speaks

When news breaks, I can't wait till Tuesday to post. And this is news. Talk about validation! Check out this essay at Editorial Ass. A New York editor speaks about racism in publishing. I wish I could send it to every one of those crazy Washington Post commenters.

A snippet, but please go over and read the whole thing and leave a comment:

Racism sucks. It sucks even more in publishing, since mass media is basically the only "thing" with the power to reach lots of people fast, and instead, for the most part, media generators--book publishers among them--find that it is comfortable, happy, and money-padded to carry on with the status quo, give people what they're used to, and ignore the problems. But yes indeed, racism we have. The thing about racism, particularly among well-meaning people, is that it's not overtly, deliberately malicious--most of it is just passivity, or, like I said, people doing again what made them money before. There are some (profound and terrifying) exceptions, examples of actively racist and/or bigoted publishing. But the majority of our sins are sins of omission--of failing to represent authors (and/or characters) of color the way we do white authors.

Best part about this? We are making a difference! We are making our voices heard and maybe, just maybe, if we can get readers to think a little outside the box we'll get publishers to think that way too. Change from the ground up? Where have I heard that before?


Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

A good book is a good book - doesn't matter if the writer's white, black, red, purple or pink. The race of the author is not really an issue.

Carleen Brice said...

If only that were true, but for many readers, publishers, editors, marketers and booksellers that doesn't seem to be the case.

OEBooks said...

From a quick scan of comments to the original post, and scanning the post as well, just a recognition that a problem (or rather problems) exists in the publishing industry certainly has to be a start in the right direction.

I read from the 'comfort zone' too... which thankfully for me, I love variety... ugh... so long as it is either thought-provoking or ROTFLMAO funny!

Moanerplicity said...

I've read the entire piece and left a detailed comment. As Frederick Douglas once said: "This conversation MUST continue."

On another subject: I tagged you to reveal YOUR 25 Greatest Literary Influences. I'm very curious to know who they might be, and surely other readers would like to know as well. See my blog for further instruction.

Enjoy your weekend, Carleen!

Snatch JOY!



Hope you agree.

Professor Tharps said...


I just wasted (ha-ha) 45 minutes reading the entire post and all 45 gazillion comments. Carleen your mission is so clearly needed, considering all of the White people who claim to want to read diverse authors but just can't find anything other than that trashy ghetto stuff. grrr...

thanks for the link and we must keep on keeping on. the revolution will not be stopped.