Publishing has a race problem. Entertainment Weekly reported that only 7.8% of romance authors using a traditional publisher were people of color in 2016. For that same year, NPR found that only 22% of all characters in children’s books were characters of color.
This, in a country where people of color are expected to make up more than half of the population by 2044 according to The Center for American Progress. For this reason, writers like Anika Fajardo, who is Colombian and white, and F. Douglas Brown, who is African American and Filipino, are more important than ever. Both were contributors to The Beiging of America, mentioned in our last episode.
F. Douglas Brown an author and educator who currently teaches English and African American Poetry at Loyola High School of Los Angeles. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able - The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism.
Anika Fajardo was born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota. She is the author of Magical Realism for Non-Believers, about discovering her Colombian father and Colombian culture. Her first novel, What If a Fish, will tackle very similar themes.
This episode was produced by Julián Esteban Torres López, Aïcha Martine Thiam, and Nicole Zelniker.
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