This weekend has seen impassioned posts from Susan at Black-Eyed Susan's and Ari at Reading In Color. I'm posting now not because I think I'm adding anything particularly new to the debate - in this instance I think it's all been said, and very eloquently - but to add my voice. And also because it's just possible that some people who visit my blog won't have heard about this elsewhere.
Susan states that: 'It is time to call out peers for failing to stand up for what's right. I'm not talking name calling, I'm talking about publicly calling on our peers to speak up, asking YA bloggers to join us in promoting POC writers and denouncing unfair practices at publishing houses.'
I get the impression from posts elsewhere that some bloggers feel hurt by this. I don't. I don't feel that Susan is blasting me for not realising that this has happened: I feel that she's pointing out that it has happened and asking for other bloggers to add their voices to the cause. That she's asking us all to be a little more aware from now on. That said: I really should be more aware of this kind of thing already. I should be doing more to promote books that feature characters of different ethnic backgrounds.
The other day I posted about why the GLBT Challenge is important to me, and actually a lot of what I said holds true for this issue too. We need to support publishers when they get it right. We need to give them a reason to keep on getting it right. Sometimes apathy alone does make us part of the problem, whether we like it or not, and I don't want to be that.
I will still read Magic Under Glass when it hits the UK in February. Jaclyn Dolamore has written a book with a protagonist who is a woman of colour, and a book with a fascinating premise too. But I will also make a commitment to seek out and review YA books this year that feature protagonists of different ethnicities. And if I don't, you can call me on it.
What you decide to do is your own call, but I'd recommend that anyone who cares about this gets themselves over to Ari's blog posts here and here for some ideas on what we can all do, and an open letter to Bloomsbury that I challenge you not to cry a little at.
Edit: I would just like to make clear that no disrespect is intended to Jaclyn Dolamore by this post, and that I do not support a boycott of this book at all. It's still one of my most-wanted titles.