Many of you have heard of the Diversity Book Challenge people are taking this year, and many of you feel like it’s too much of a chore to do this. But here I will explain to you why these books are so important and why people should be taking this challenge. At the end I invite you to a new sort of challenge if you are up for the task.
As a Mexican raised in the US, I was a not in touch with my culture for many years. It was something I was trying to erase from myself to become ‘normal’. I wasn’t normal compared to all the things that surrounded me for I lived in a mostly white suburban neighborhood, everything I watched only had Latinx stereotypes, and all books had the beautiful girl with the golden hair and porcelain skin.
I compared myself often, even unconsciously, to the book characters. Wishing I could wake up one day and look like them instead of waking up and seeing the dark features I had that I was ashamed of. I didn’t want to be the stereotype of the cleaning lady as most shows use for Latinxs. I wanted to fit in with the other kids who had everything given to them.
It wasn’t until recently that I grew to appreciate my culture and learn to love how I look. I have learned to appreciate the people who do in fact work as a cleaners and following that stereotype for they do the job no one else wants and they do it for their family. The reason why I began to appreciate my culture is I started to read diverse books. Books that described people that look like me as beautiful. Books that taught me to have no shame in who I am. Even for those of you who aren’t POC, LGBT+, or disabled, #ownvoices books will give you an insight that you will never have understood. Marginalized youth needs this. Being in your teens is hard already and it just becomes harder if all of pop culture is telling you subtly(and sometimes very blatantly) that you do not fit the cookie cutter mold of beauty. Young people need these diverse books now more than ever. Especially since the American government has a man who has continuously oppressed POC, LGBT+, and disabled people and has gotten away with it. The whole world is in uproar and we need the children to learn to love themselves and not fear being themselves.
Now here is my challenge for you.
Young people sometimes have a hard time reaching these diverse books, because their family don’t have enough money for books(because buying books IS a luxury) and libraries do not carry these diverse books often. I invite you all to try to donate at least one diverse book to a library or a marginalized youth. One book can make all the difference in a child’s life. I will be performing a giveaway next week only for marginalized youth to join and will be giving away two books. Hopefully(if I have enough money), I will be preforming this giveaway every month. I encourage you all(which I know some of you buy ten books at least each month) just buy one book to donate one diverse book so a child/teen could find themselves in a book. It would be amazing if you could also join in doing one book a month as well, but if we all simply donate one book imagine how many children/teenagers will get a chance to read about someone like them.
Let’s try to make this a prominent challenge. Challenge your friends, tell them to donate. Maybe we could even try to have a hashtag to to find young book bloggers who need books something like #givingdiversebooks.
We can change a young person’s life.