A Few Thoughts on #WeNeedDiverseBooks

The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign was an astonishing three-day event for me. While I wasn’t able to participate much during the scheduled times due to work, I loved catching up on all of the Twitter and Tumblr notifications on my breaks. If you missed the Twitter chat, you can download the archive here. That page has a bunch of interesting facts about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks chat, including things like a campaign scope map, campaign growth, and the most retweeted post.

Rich in Color got a number of new followers over the course of the campaign, both on Twitter and on Tumblr, and we are grateful to have you. (I’m still trying to catch up on all the emails I received because of the campaign!) We hope that we will continue to be a great resource for people who are looking for young adult books by or about people of color. If you haven’t already checked out our release calendar, please do so—and make sure to let us know via Tumblr, Twitter, or email if there’s a book we’re missing. Authors, agents, editors, publicists, fans—all of you are welcome to alert us to a book we have overlooked. We want to hear from you!

I absolutely loved the flood of posts online about all the reasons why people said they needed diverse books. Some of them were cute (Buzzfeed had a collection of the most adorable ones), some of them were witty, some of them I related to personally, and a lot of them were ones that got me straight in the heart. Those were the ones—where people talked about how they had never seen anyone like them (race, sexuality, ability, etc.) in a book before, or how when they finally did they realized they weren’t alone—that will stick with me the longest. Those were the reasons that made me so glad that sites like Diversity in YA, Disability in Kidlit, DiversifYA, and other resources exist and are gaining visibility.

But perhaps the thing I was most excited about was day three—the “Diversify Your Shelves” campaign. Ever since I helped start Rich in Color, I’ve been buying and reading a lot more diverse books than I used to. One of my goals from this point on is to post a picture of all the diverse books I buy or borrow from a friend/the library, whether or not I end up reviewing them for Rich in Color. I want to do my part to keep the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign going, and that is a small, easy thing I can do that helps promote diverse books and authors.

What did you think of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign? How did you participate? Did you get any recommendations for diverse books? Let us know!

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4 Comments on “A Few Thoughts on #WeNeedDiverseBooks
  1. I loved the campaign and participated by blogging about it, tweeting and rt’s.

    Like you, what got to me is that readers are still not seeing themselves or their experiences in books. I was 18 and in college before I read any books that ‘spoke’ to me.

    Glad your blog, and the others, are receiving attention-hope it continues.

    • I was just so excited to see how many people responded. It was great to see all these people come together for all sorts of diversity issues. I hope in the future that it won’t take as long as it did for you and me for other kids to find themselves in books.

  2. Like you, I wasn’t able to participate during the three days as much as I’d hoped, because I was in Portugal or en route home (long trip!). However, I just posted about it on my blog today and was able to bring in a school visit yesterday that was definitely relevant to our efforts.

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