Hello my lovely followers,
I hope you have a great morning. :3
Are you in the mood for a surprise? I have some exciting new content for you:
Please give inspiring debuting author Georgina Kiersten a warm welcome. Georgina was so kind and agreed to write a guest post I am excited to share with you. ❤ Read the amazing (yet and especially in our current times) super important post below about 3 Ways To Being A Better Bookish Anti-Racism Ally.
Guest post – 3 Ways To Being A Better Bookish Anti-Racism Ally
This is not the typical post you would see on a book blog. What do allyship and anti-racism have to do with books? It has a lot to do with it. Did you know that according to the 2019 Ripped Bodice annual diversity report that authors of color wrote only 8.3 of all published books and that according to the 2015 Lee and Low study %79 of the people that worked in publishing were white?
With the resurgence of the Black Lives Movement in response to the tragic murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, black authors, readers, and bloggers continue to pick up a mirror to the publishing industry. Because black lives matter is not just about the rise of police violence against black and brown people. It’s about the systematic racism rampant in every industry (especially the entertainment industries) that affects people of color, in particular black people.
We have to have these talks about diversity and inclusion repeatedly with movies and television. Yet, the discussion never seems to stick with the publishing industry.
The Romance Writers Of America scandal happened six months ago, and despite the new election of one of most racially diverse boards in the organization’s history, there are still white people who just want us to go back to the status quo. There are still way too many white authors writing thinly veiled racist garbage and readers giving black authors one-star reviews to black books because “They just can’t relate to black characters”.
The time for performative allyship is over and it’s time to put up or shut up. So here are five concrete ways you can be a better ally.
1) Give Black People Money
In June, especially with the BLM marches and then with Juneteenth, there was a surge of support. People posted images of black books they bought on the bookgram hashtags, or they did #Blackouttuesday, which was an effort to amplify black authors.
Then in July, as the protests (that is still going on) faded from the top of the headlines, the support did as well. Things went back to normal and again black members of the book community that were shoved to the back of the bus.
Black lives, black stories, black content, matters all the time.
And the greatest way to help us right now is if white people make the commitment to support black artists by donating to them every month or becoming a patron.
If black people don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from that frees up their time to create more content.
2) Amplify Black People
Times are hard and we are dipping into a serious recession, so the next best thing to give besides money is to consistently amplify black books. On the Twitter web platform, there is a function to schedule tweets or you can schedule posts on Facebook. Make the commitment to schedule two or three black books every week. Bloggers, reach out to black authors and offer to host a blog tour or give them a platform like Mikku did for me for this blog post. Share black blogger’s new posts or comments and subscribe to a black book vlog.
3) Follow and Listen To Black People
One of the biggest ways to keep yourself educated on the issues that are facing the black community is to follow black people. When you do that, it both helps both their business and keeps you informed. My suggestion is to follow a wide swath of intersections. Follow black cishets, LGBTQ+, disabled, neurodivergent. Don’t just jump into a conversation but sit back and listen and pay attention to the topics and issues that consistently pop up.
These are all simple ways that would seem like common sense, but what a lot of so-called allies ignorantly refuse to do. Black people don’t need a simple black square, the black square is not enough! We need you to support us and amplify our voices. If you will not put in the work, then you need to just get out now! This post may seem harsh, but you have understood how frustrated black people in the book community are with this performative allyship.
We can only achieve equality for everyone in publishing by doing the necessary anti-racism work.
Thank you so much, Georgina, for this informative as well as important post. ❤
My fellow (white) bloggers, let us all try better and create a bookish community where all (marginalized) voices are being heard. Give them a spot on your blog, share & boost AOC/POC on your social media channels.
There are so many great voices – bloggers/vloggers, authors, artists, graphic designers etc. etc. – out there who wants to be heard – and you can help them with it. ❤
Thanks again to Georgina Kiersten for sharing their thoughts and insights with us. ❤
Author bio – Georgina Kiersten
Georgina Kiersten is a black non-binary (they/them) author of diverse LGBTQ+ romance and erotica. They are also a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in publishing. Georgina blogs about writing and books and is writing their debut romance novel “The Bipartisan Affair”. Visit Georgina’s website, subscribe to their FREE newsletter or follow them on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.