50 Books by Authors of Color: A Project in Review

When I started this project my goal was to broaden my literary horizons. Sure, I’ve read a lot of the traditionally considered “great works of literature”, I even had a teacher who made Paradise Lost required reading, but I always felt as though the lists you pick up in the guidance counselor’s office or from your local library were missing something. That they lacked, diversity. Not just racial diversity, gender diversity is certainly lacking but there’s no denying that you’re more likely to a see a Bronte sister on one of those lists than Zora Neale Hurston or Amy Tan. Sure in the last thirty years or so more instructors are including works but there hasn’t really been a movement to make any of those lists anything more than books written by dead white men.

I know the thing you’re expecting to read was that it was a rich and fulfilling experience, and it was. But this project wasn’t about having a rich and fulfilling experience, it was about recognizing a disconnect between what is considered “classic literature”  and representation of the people that read them. I’m not saying that something like Tess of the D’Urbevilles should be replaced with Omar Tyree’s FlyyGirl(God forbid) on a high school reading list, but I do think our multicultural society should make an effort to make our literature more representative.

So, while I may not reach fifty books this year, my goal is to intentionally incorporate more works by Authors of Color, LGBT Authors, Female authors, and I plan on documenting them in the hopes that someone reading this, sometime will find one book that they think sounds interesting and maybe, just maybe will pick it up.

I have no idea what to call this (Please comment if you have suggestions) but be relieved my faithful readers, Mahasin in the Morning lives!


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