By Keyanna Harper
- 78% of the publishing industry is white, with only 4% Black representation
- The perspective of marginalized groups has large audiences wanting more stories from Black writers
The lack of diversity in the creative book industry is a hot topic with Black writers and editors being underrepresented. Currently, 78% of the publishing industry is white, with only 4% Black representation. Diversity is far from where it should be for the Black perspective in an industry of all-white publishing. How can we expect to create literature that reflects the world as it exists if our authors are underrepresented?
Why This Matters: The publishing industry is slow to seat people from marginalized groups in publishing positions. The overall sector comprises 78 % white, Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (7%), Hispanic /Latino & Mexican(6%). Black African Americans account for 4%. Authors of other cultures or backgrounds fear their work will go unappreciated because it differs from the majority.
Diversity is an issue in the creative book industry. Those who are working behind the scenes in publishing lack representation from people of color. The perspective of marginalized groups has large audiences wanting more stories from Black writers.
White authors have proclaimed they are paid hundreds of thousands more for their books and writings than many authors of color. The masses are calling to diversify the publishing houses and pushed the industry to release statements, expressing support for racial justice, announce empathy training, and pledge to publish more books by writers from diverse backgrounds.
Situational Awareness: The support of Black literature is slowly moving forward because of social media. Without this support, publishing houses would still overlook the creative voices of people of color if there weren’t a significant outcry for change.
We need more people of color in all aspects of publishing, from editorial staff to marketing teams and even booksellers. Only then will we see an end to the whitewashing of literature and truly diverse represented stories being told.
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