The Diversity Problem

If I were making a speech as opposed to writing a blog post in my pjs this morning, I would look around the room somewhat solemnly and say: “Raise your hand if you’re aware that diversity in literature is a problem.” I would expect a few bemused blinks and roughly half the room to raise their hands.

Did you (symbolically, metaphorically, mentally, actually) raise yours?

If I were part of the audience, beneath thoughts of wishing I were still in my pjs, I would dimly recognize, “Yes, of course I know that it’s a problem. Duh. Diversity.” But how much do you or I really get about this? Initially, this blog post was meant to be a discussion of how effective discussions about diversity in literature are, inspired by my friend Leonicka‘s attempts to start a weekly #DiverseCanLit chat . But the more I delved into the topic, the more I realized I didn’t know, and the more I realized how much I wanted to bring this grievous deficiency to light. The first productive step to entering a conversation is to realize that it exists. The second step is to become aware of what you’re talking about. So here goes, my first attempt at true awareness of the lack of diversity in Western literature.  Continue reading