i wrote a guest blog for the cbc diversity blog called "separate, not equal" on the subject of book covers and some of the issues that come with having a black kid on a book cover. i really hope that by writing about this, librarians and booksellers will rethink the ways in which they choose to shelve books.
because, while i think having "special" shelves for so-called "urban" novels might help fans find particular books, they also ghettoize books and remove them from the mainstream shelves.
and, as a writer, i have to say, being labeled this way is so frustrating!
here's an excerpt:
I can’t tell you how many libraries I’ve been to where my books are not even shelved in the mainstream YA section. They are relegated to the shelf labeled “Street Lit” where the books about black people live. The same is true in some bookstores where a black person on a book cover means it’s no longer YA; it’s “Urban Fiction”.
I’m here to tell you, when it comes to books, segregation is alive and well in America.
you can read the whole thing here. and please, get in the conversation!