We’ve been talking about diversity in children’s books for the last 20+ years. Yet, we haven’t moved past the “talking stage.” When I began working towards my teacher certification at Kean University Graduate School, “multiculturalism” was the big topic and buzz-word.
I can remember lists of multicultural picture books and novels handed out during class. Once I became a teacher, I made sure I had many of these books in my classroom. It was important to me to show different cultures in my classroom. My school district is predominantly White, so it’s very rare to see diversity in our schools. Which is why it’s important to see that representation in our literature.
However, as the years have passed, there has been less discussion about multiculturalism and diversity. There were very few articles about new authors of color or books with diverse characters. In fact, even the lists of books disappeared. Now we were talking about “good children’s literature” and “quality mentor texts.”
Why have educators stopped talking about finding good children’s literature with diversity and non-stereotypical characters? T. Lanette Pollard, NBCT