Diversity an Issue as Book Convention Opens

Hillel Italie, CNS News, May 27, 2014

Three years ago, guest speaker Mindy Kaling joked that publishing’s annual national convention, BookExpo America, resembled “a high school reunion where all the jocks were killed in a plane crash, and all the minorities, too.”

Little seems to have changed.

From Wednesday to Saturday, tens of thousands of publishers, authors, agents and librarians will meet at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York for a convention predominantly organized by whites, spotlighting books predominantly written, edited and published by whites.

Non-whites are virtually absent from BookExpo planning committees and prime promotional slots. Tavis Smiley is the only non-white among the 16 scheduled breakfast and author tea speakers, who also include Jodi Picoult, Lena Dunham and Anjelica Huston. There is little non-white representation for various other high-profile events, from “Buzz” forums for upcoming adult, young adult and middle grade releases to an all-white panel that will discuss discrepancies between how men and women fiction writers are treated.

“I don’t have a good answer for you,” said BookExpo event director Steven Rosato, who noted that publishers submit candidates for panels and other gatherings. “Clearly, there’s a gap between the industry and what’s representative of the country.”

Diversity in publishing has been in the news often in recent weeks. A study from a University of Wisconsin-based commission reported that just a tiny percentage of children’s books last year featured non-white characters, and an essay by Pulitzer Prize winning fiction writer Junot Diaz, published in The New Yorker, attacked the “unbearable too-whiteness” of creative writing classes.

A social media campaign, We Need Diverse Books, was launched earlier this month in response to a Blockbuster Reads panel scheduled Saturday at the Javits center that features four white, male authors: Jeff Kinney, James Patterson, Rick Riordan and Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler). In response, organizers created a new panel, The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks, with speakers including Grace Lin, Jacqueline Woodson and Matt de la Pena.

{snip}

The book world has long struggled to advance from diversity panels to actual diversity, operating under a contradiction between its liberal, pluralistic ideals and the narrow range of its own population, especially in positions of power. Non-whites are absent, or close to it, on executive boards throughout, from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) to the American Booksellers Association (ABA) to the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR). Overall, the industry has few prominent non-white publishers, editors, agents, booksellers or book critics.

{snip}

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  • Alucard_the_last

    Now its our fault that whites write books. Will the eternal whine ever end? No one is stopping negroids from writing books. I know the books will seem that they are written by a white five-year-old but its a start.

    • MooTieFighter

      When they do it’s almost always selfish black self-interest. If your authoring a book to blacks (that actually read for enjoyment), your not going to sell many.

  • Alexandra1973

    They didn’t get the memo from Chris Rock, did they? About books being Kryptonite….

    • propagandaoftruth

      Look at all the biggest black/brown riots over the years…

      How many book stores get burned/looted/vandalized even? It’s analogous to how many black women get raped by White men in an average year…

      • Reverend Bacon

        Dayam, Rastas! If that cracka George Zimmerman get off, I beez goin to the Barnes & Noble to gets me the complete works of that Shakespeare cracka.

  • Rhialto

    Blacks are great complainers. If Blacks had a problem with the “Too White” book publishing industry, their complaints would resound throughout the land. Obviously the Blacks don’t care, only the White Liberals are agitated.

    Isn’t this the same nonsense, that went on about Black non-usage of State/National parks?

    • APaige

      Its the same with the ‘doll’ issue…black animals being the last to be adopted…drowning in swimming pools because great grandma had to swim apart from Whites…etc.

    • Reverend Bacon

      Maybe they can wreck literature like they wrecked debate.

      • me

        Nah. You have to have discipline, self-control, intelligence, command of the English language, reading comprehension, and an adequate vocabulary to write a book. Besides, you can’t do the Negro ‘looks at me! I be special!’ while writing. It’s a solitary pursuit, without a captive audience around you.

  • Herman

    Blacks and Hispanics writing books?
    Please.
    I would be happy if they read a book.

    • me

      In Mexico or Africa….

  • DaveMed

    Reading is White Privilege™.

    • Chris

      Readin’ be a whitey thang.

    • Nonhumans

      All that I have on this one.

    • me

      Obama is whoring for funds for his ‘Presidential Library’. I didn’t know coloring books were so expensive….

      • He can’t write, and I doubt he can read. I’m inclined to agree with North Korea about unevolved subhumans who need to be licking up bread crumbs.

  • “If you want to hide something from a black man, put the thing in a book and put the book in a library.”

    — Onion Horton

  • Mary

    I don’t know what they’re talking about regarding children’s books. Non-whites are legion in children’s books nowadays. If they’re not the main character, they are the best friend or sidekick. Or the child lives in a mixed-race family. Or attends a school with a contrived-looking, strategically balanced racial mix. The black and white kids are always paired with each other. Most of the illustrations should make any non-racist fanatic proud. And I do believe that children’s television programming is even worse. Gotta get an early start on the social engineering!

    • Truthseeker

      If Whites are represented in books by more than half their actual representation in the U.S. population, that’s too many for the Marxists.

    • Guest

      Remember the white boy in the real Cat in the Hat? Now there’s a black kid hanging with the little blonde girl. Hooray for Diversity!

  • Dr. Tywon Poe

    How many Obama supporters have you seen holding a book, much less reading one?

    • MooTieFighter

      They apparently can’t even watch the news. They only have enough attention for sound bites, this is what the libs thrive off of.

  • The Final Solution

    People who never invented the printing press or even a written language can sit on the bench while white people write the next literary classic. Or pretty much the next 1,000 years of published human history.

    • me

      No kidding! Whites build, create, and invent–minorities bitch. Feeling inferior, they take out their self-loathing, hatred, envy, and jealousy on the superior White races. We shouldn’t have shared anything with them. We should have left the ingrates rot in their own failed ‘civilizations’.

  • JackKrak

    I’ll be in the front row for some “comedy” act at the Apollo before blacks will go to a book fair.

  • JohnEngelman

    How can one make a living writing for adults who read at a forth grade level?

  • kikz2

    oh geeez, just read maya angelou has died.. guess there’ll be flags at half-staff and a natl. week of mourning.. eyeroll…….

    • Tarczan

      Yeah, and let me be the first to express my outrage that AmRen and Mr. Moderator failed to make note of the passing of this literary giant.

    • Tim_in_Indiana

      Yes, I overheard them talking about it on the Chicago TV news tonight and for a moment there I thought God had died.

  • Tom Thumb

    What about black papered pages with black lettering? Would that be doable?

    • me

      Black power! LOL!

  • I saw that the one black writer, Maya Angelou, croaked. There’s going to be less drivel published now that her childish babblings have ceased.
    The communist mayor of San Antonio, the vile Julian (pronounced Whoo-lee-ann) Castro just called for the Hispanics to flood the libraries this summer to take advantage of the Hispanic Summer Reading program. They’ll do it too. But they won’t read. They hog the computers, doing their Fakebook, tweets, and such.
    I read a while back on amren that Hispanics don’t buy or read books. Nothing’s going to change that, so the libtards need to just SHUT UP about white privilege, oppression, exclusion, and such.
    Reading–it’s a white activity. Ditto writing.

    • dukem1

      Reading…It’s a white thang!

    • Tom Thumb

      About the moron, Maya Angelou. She had a good life for a no talent jackass – I mean that only in the best way of course.

    • DaveMed

      I read some of her poems today.

      Not particularly impressed.

  • Tarczan

    “I don’t have a good answer for you,” said BookExpo event director Steven Rosato, who noted that publishers submit candidates for panels and other gatherings. “Clearly, there’s a gap between the industry and what’s representative of the country.”

    I do. Darkies aren’t too bright.

    • Pelagian

      “I don’t have a good answer for you,” …“Clearly, there’s a gap between the industry and what’s representative of the country”

      Another one of the great mysteries of the universe.

  • Mason Gull

    You have ten seconds to think of great literary work written by a black person. Hardmode: no “African-Americans.”

    Can you do it, AmRen?

    • Ahnenerbe ᛟ

      Maybe the Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. He was mixed though

      • Einsatzgrenadier

        “Eugene Onegin” by Alexander Pushkin is another one, but the author was also mixed. Blacks never accomplish anything without white admixture.

    • Who Me?

      Didn’t our present Muslim-In-Chief write a book? Some drivel about his daddy dreaming?

      • robinbishop34

        I think William Ayers wrote that book?

    • sbuffalonative

      I’ve brought this issue up in the past when blacks complain about Hollywood movies.

      What are the great African myths? We have Nordic mythology and Asian mythology but do you know any great African myths that unite a people?

      Blacks depend on whites to write the stories they claim as their own. Look at how they embrace Lion King. They think it’s an African story when it’s actually Hamlet.

      What are the great African characters? The comic books?

      Blacks tell us how creative they are but I don’t see it, at least not in literature.

      Maybe they can mangle the melody of a song and call it soul but improvisation isn’t creative in my book.

    • me

      “Roots” by Alex Hailey….according to the libtards. They actually think that this book is non-fiction, written by a Negro without heavy editing. How many of your Baby Boomer parents made this ‘author’ a millionaire?

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    The book world has long struggled to advance from diversity panels to actual diversity, operating under a contradiction between its liberal, pluralistic ideals and the narrow range of its own population, especially in positions of power.

    Just like the rest of the media. Just like television (at least in the boardrooms), just like newspapers, just like magazines, just like websites such as HuffPo, just like academia, just like the sciences, etc., etc., etc. In fact, just like any field of endeavor that rewards intelligence, or at least some semblance of it.

    It’s called the natural workings of the free market.

  • Pelagian

    I just love when this happens:

    The book world has long struggled to advance from diversity panels to actual diversity, operating under a contradiction between its liberal, pluralistic ideals and the narrow range of its own population, especially in positions of power.

  • Chris

    Whenever I’m in a big box store and its crazy crowded, I head to the book isle to get away from diversity. I browse books until it calms down. I always hear that the safest place during a riot is a bookstore.

  • Pelagian

    No black books? They should just publish the transcript of the national debate championship. That will be a big seller. “Um uh uh uhm uh uh uh uh uh …”

    • MooTieFighter

      Essentially all black books are filled with self gratifying b.s. (that is almost always factually inaccurate) , slavery whining, or “white privilege”. Usually very little in the way of truly useful information for all ethnicities. It’s almost always geared directly toward them, like their politics.

  • Who Me?

    Blacks don’t read books. As many a black comedian has said, “The best place to hide something from a black man is to put it in a book.” Why on earth would they write books? Books are so far down on their list of important things they don’t even bother to vandalize bookstores.

  • Conrad

    If you don’t like if… don’t attend these events. No one is going to force you.

  • sbuffalonative

    Non-whites complain about everything THEY don’t do and blame their inaction on whites.

  • dd121

    Knee grows don’t read. They’re uninterested, too stupid, you pick the reason. Who the hell doesn’t know this?

  • MooTieFighter

    It’s a book expo! Why would you expect a large black turn out? I guess you could start giving out free food, drinks, cd’s, etc… Don’t understand the concern.

  • Puggg

    The video has a lot of cussing, so I won’t give a link to it.

    Look up on You Tube:

    “D-Mite Read a Book”

    • model1911

      I got through 3 seconds.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    “a convention predominantly organized by whites, spotlighting books predominantly written, edited and published by whites”

    How dare whites spotlight white authors during an event funded and organized by whites! The horror! This would be like the BET Music Awards spotlighting black musicians. Oh wait…

  • MBlanc46

    “I don’t have a good answer for you”.

    Guy must be an idiot. It’s perfectly clear. Blacks and Hispanics don’t read (except maybe comic books. Go to a hair weave or cheap bling convention. All the participants would be people of color. Would that be a problem?

    • Dr. Blooknok

      Apparently your correct, I frequently go to the local Barnes & Noble and purchase books and I rarely see a negro but do see some Asians .

  • IstvanIN

    It is interesting that no one ever asks why don’t blacks themselves organize one of these things? Why does a White person have to organize events FOR them? Sort of like the Disney princess controversy. Why does Disney have to make black princess movies? Why doesn’t Tyler Perry or Spike Lee, both wealthy Hollywood insiders, make decent child-oriented black princess cartoons? Why do we have to include them in every thing we do? It would be interesting to get the answer for THEIR failure to do for themselves.

  • WR_the_realist

    I’m sure I read more books in a week than the average black American reads in a year. And Hispanics don’t seem to be much better at the book reading thing. So is anybody surprised that a book convention is an overwhelmingly white affair? This article is like complaining that so few Japanese Americans go to rap concerts.

    When blacks do write a book it’s almost always about the same thing — about how hard it is to be a black person in evil old racist America. Sheesh, if a white person writes a whiny book like that I wouldn’t want to read it either.

    Hell, the books I read are too geeky for most white people.

  • IKUredux

    This kinda B.S. just completely fries my tomatoes. There, was that metamorphical enough? Hey, if “conversate ” is now in the dictionary, I figure I can make up my own words as well. Are these people insane? If Blacks, or hispanics , or whatever write books, then GOOD FOR THEM!!!! But, it seems like the so called minorities in this country who are about to be the majority are demanding that White authors write about them. What? Are you afraid the literary output of the U.s. will end up equalling the current output of all the Hispanic countries? What exactly, are these people demanding? Forcing publishers to print books that aren’t going to sell? Do you “minorities” not get it ? Not only don’t most of you not know how to read, but those of you who do, don’t read for pleasure, or for knowledge. or for anything, actually. Just because you are literate, doesn’t mean you have a interest in reading.

    • rightrightright

      When works of fiction by whites are made into film, it is then that blacks come into their own. They get to portray the lead characters – Dr Doolittle, Gwenevere etc. As with everything else, they don’t need to produce anything for themselves, preferring the easier route of hijacking the fruits of white people’s minds – while self piteously lamenting the “whiteness” of it all.

  • NoMosqueHere

    This is NYC they’re talking about right? Almost all people associated with the book business in NY are self hating whites or sick jewish liberals. So, lets throw the affirmative action pie in their faces. 50 percent of these folks should be fired and replaced with non whites. Let them understand first hand what affirmative action means.

  • propagandaoftruth

    Vote for me dear will you. I don’t think I can deal with this.

  • propagandaoftruth

    Where’s a white man? Oh, the Count. Now I see!

  • rightrightright

    In 2011, thousands of blacks rioted in London. They trashed, burned and looted shops and department stores. The only shops that escaped the looting rampage were the bookstores whose stocks remained intact.

  • seapeaMP

    +1 for Grandpa!


    “Diversity” is a code word for White GENOCIDE.

  • me

    LOL!

  • me

    It’s to distract from the fact that 99% of the crime is committed by Negroes.

  • me

    What a brain dead, ignorant, disrespectful, spoiled, mentally ill (r)unt this attention w#$re is in this shameful video!

  • model1911

    I would love to see Mr.Taylor’s work or Mr. Derbyshire’s work on display at the meeting.

  • Dr. Blooknok

    From Wednesday to Saturday, tens of thousands of publishers, authors, agents and librarians will meet at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York for a convention predominantly organized by whites, spotlighting books predominantly written, edited and published by whites.

    This must stop, white people must be prohibited from this form of expression until there are more “Black writers” like Maya Angelou with the intelligence of a seven year old who prattle poems meant for the limited Black and white liberal so called minds.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    In order for Cervantes to qualify as a “Hispanic” writer he would have to be mestizo, indio or mulatto. He was neither of those things.

  • Mary

    I’ve noticed this as well. It seems as though AA hiring for these positions is tantamount to levels usually seen for government workers.

  • bubo

    In a multi-racial society like the insane USA, race is at the forefront of everything. It takes so much away from what could be productive minds, thoughts, man hours etc. The bad news is as we become even more diverse the bigger the race issue becomes.

  • Garrett Brown

    Reading beez hard and sheet, and DAS RACIS!

  • Mr Realist

    Maybe if blacks bought more books, there would be more books about them. It’s simple supply and demand.

  • Annabelle Pettyjohn

    These “whites” are most likely Jewish. The book publishers are Jewish and they cater to Jewish authors.

  • Annabelle Pettyjohn

    The Jews are the “Privileged Whites”…….You may put blacks down but blacks have more power that any white gentile will ever experienced. White gentiles have no power.