I read two truly moving blogs this week and I wanted to thank Ellen Oh for posting on the topic of anti-racism and Adam Heine for turning the topic into a contest. What better way to bring attention to the problem than to give stuff away in support of it?
I mentioned on Ellen’s blog that I have a Chinese daughter whom I love so much it hurts. It hurts even more when people comment on her appearance and how she can’t possibly be Chinese. You see, my daughter has a condition called Ocular Albinism. That’s not the white hair/red eyes version of Albinism. There are different kinds of conditions and hers means she has brown hair and brown eyes. She blends into mainstream America – in some ways a little too well. I’ve heard well-intentioned people claim: “She’s not Chinese!” Like hell she’s not. Why do people believe it’s detrimental to be of another race? Why do they want us to spend thousands on genetic testing to prove she’s not Chinese? I was tempted to do the testing to prove she IS.
I have a niece who also happens to be adopted. She’s from Russia, but her eyes have epicanthic folds because of where in Russia her ancestors came from. She went to the doctor’s office the other day and the NURSE repeatedly claimed that my niece must have Downe’s syndrome because of her eyes. This was an educated woman!
The whiting-out of America has got to stop. Two years ago the amazing Justine Larbalestier fought a battle with the publishers who tried to put a white girl on her book about an aboriginal teen. She won that battle, but the war looms large ahead of us. Our best line of defense is greater education, and what we need is more books. Books with covers that are diverse in their depiction of the human race.
To support that effort, I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I’m buying a cover that has someone of a non-caucasian race on the cover. Seriously, folks, the publishers put whites on the cover because they believe people won’t buy anything else. How sick is that? Let’s prove otherwise. I will BUY and give away two books. Winners can choose, but I will give multiple choices:
Justine’s “Liar” with appropriate cover, thank you very much. Cindy Pon’s wonderful “Silver Phoenix” in the original, beautiful cover. (See image at the top of this page.) Or for the adult book reader who still wants to make a difference, Jeannie Lin’s “The Dragon And the Pearl” with its stunning cover. I will announce the winners on the 19th.
To win one of these excellent books, please post a link to Ellen Oh’s original post, which can be found here. I would love a link to this contest in order to draw more attention to the issue, or to Adam Heine’s page, (which does have a different book available to win), but I’m not doing this to promote me, him or even Ellen. I’m doing this to provide a few pennies in a bucket that’s never given a chance to fill.