I consider myself a bit of an old hand at blogging. While I may not be as on it as some of my peers when it comes to frequency of posting and such, I have been at this since 2005. I have seen many blogs come and go, and I have seen many trends come and go. But for the first time in a while, I got excited about a blog because of its message and its timely nature.
The blog I am excited for is Reading While White : Allies for Racial Diversity & Inclusion in Books for Children & Teens. I have high hopes for the conversations this blog will be starting. It is clear from initiatives like #weneeddiversebooks , and the #blacklivesmatter movement as well as the political climate, that discussions of race are on the forefront and are necessary. The mission of Reading While White states in part-
“We are White librarians organizing to confront racism in the field of children’s and young adult literature. We are allies in the ongoing struggle for authenticity and visibility in books; for opportunities for people of color and First/Native Nations people in all aspects of the children’s and young adult book world; and for accountability among publishers, book creators, reviewers, librarians, teachers, and others. We are learning, and hold ourselves responsible for understanding how our whiteness impacts our perspectives and our behavior.”
I like that the creators state that their mission is a work in progress, and is apt to change. I like that the creators are naming their own privilege, holding themselves accountable and are are leaning in and being action oriented. I am excited about this resource because as a white educator and a mother of two white daughters I feel a strong need to be a part of this narrative.
My own school is embarking on bringing conversations about race to the surface in a very intentional way. Our history and legacy is one of social justice, and it is increasingly apparent that everyone needs to be aware and action oriented on this front. Our Director’s expectation is that every member of our community — students, faculty, staff, administration and board members, along with parents and caregivers, will be having active discussions about race/ethnicity, racism and privilege. He states, “Until those of us who identify as ‘white’ can acknowledge and examine the privilege that comes with our race, race will divide us.” I am expecting to refer teachers and parents alike to this blog as a resource, a conversation starter and a source of different viewpoints.