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Making white characters black is not the way to promote diversity in literature. Barnes & Noble and Penguin Random House released new covers of classic books for Black History Month. At best, it’s shallow window dressing. At worst, it’s retroactive blackface.

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  • Was this a cynical cash grab on behalf of Barnes and Nobles/ Penguin Random House? Or were they sincere in their efforts to increase representation? In Barnes and Nobles' apology, they said that they hoped the covers would "increase engagement with these classic titles." Consumers are expecting more

    Was this a cynical cash grab on behalf of Barnes and Nobles/ Penguin Random House? Or were they sincere in their efforts to increase representation? In Barnes and Nobles' apology, they said that they hoped the covers would "increase engagement with these classic titles." Consumers are expecting more from marketers and brands when it comes to representation, and are judging books by far more than just their cover.

  • How wrong can a project go? Depends how misguided it was to begin with, I guess.

    This was a well-meaning and totally misguided publishing effort, a literal coverup to update the literary canon by updating the book covers deceptively. As ever, the diversity push proved just how little cultural gatekeepers

    How wrong can a project go? Depends how misguided it was to begin with, I guess.

    This was a well-meaning and totally misguided publishing effort, a literal coverup to update the literary canon by updating the book covers deceptively. As ever, the diversity push proved just how little cultural gatekeepers understand about the culture they are gatekeeping and the people they hope to please.

    Read this post. Get up to speed on this literary scandal. Understand the world just a bit better.

  • A perfect and failed example of how not to do things and blindly trying to jump on a bandwagon. One of the things, which should be a source of ridicule for every brand, are the shallow efforts to show their faces for things where they are not required.

    It’s a fact that black people and culture is significantly

    A perfect and failed example of how not to do things and blindly trying to jump on a bandwagon. One of the things, which should be a source of ridicule for every brand, are the shallow efforts to show their faces for things where they are not required.

    It’s a fact that black people and culture is significantly underrepresented and poorly portrayed in most literature we grow up with. If you cannot do something about your past, try to create the future:

    1) Create a competition for aspiring black writers under different genres

    2) Showcase black literary classics and bestsellers and conduct workshops for writers

    3) Release a commemorative book celebrating black literature and authors

    4) Celebrate authors who are trying to portray the richness of black culture in their storytelling

    ...etc etc etc