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Search tags: Whitewashing
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review 2017-06-03 17:00
Something Wonky This Way Comes - Kate DiCamillo,Chris Van Dusen 
Something Wonky This Way Comes - Kate DiCamillo,Chris Van Dusen

http://pin.it/c61MXET

 

How did I not notice before that Can Dusen paints everyone with the same skin color, same highlights and shadows? Everyone, including Mercy Watson, the pig. Different hair, facial features, head shapes, clothes, but the exact same skin (old people are all highlights and shadows for the wrinkles, but the same colors). And unlike The Simpsons, it's not one color for all the White people, but different colors for people of color. It's an interesting choice.

 

I didn't notice before because I just assumed that the unnatural peachy-pink meant White, because that's how we roll: default = White. No one is really that color, but society has agreed to pretend, just to make it easier.

 

I've been thinking about this for hours now. I still don't know how I feel about it. Is it good to ignore actual melanin across the board to avoid dividing people into White or Other? Would I be comfortable with it if he'd chosen a default that wasn't already understood to be White? If everyone was green or grey, some color which doesn't have racial coding, the deliberate neutrality would have been obvious. As it is, Mercy seems to live in an idealized mid-century sundown town. I like the setting in general, with the sidewalks and big-time cars, I enjoy the same Imagineared quality in the art of William Joyce and Mark Teague. But now I can't stop thinking how middle-class suburban White it is, and getting creeped out.

 

Race isn't real, but racism is so horrifyingly visible right now, that a town of pink people isn't neutral, it's threatening.

 

Guess I finally figured out what I feel. I am not in the pink.

 

Library copy.

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url 2015-11-19 22:34
The Guardian: Rick Riordan cheers end of book covers that 'whitewash' his black hero

“There is a very strong sense that black characters have been – and continue to be – left off book covers. The problem is widespread,” [Alexandra Strick, manager and co-founder of Inclusive Minds] said. “There have been many high-profile cases of characters actually changing colour completely, so described in the story as black but then appearing Caucasian on the cover. However, very often it’s more subtle than that, with the cover of a book about a non-white character often avoiding featuring a human face at all, or with the character featured in silhouette or even with their face turned away. Sometimes it’s a case of publishers asking that a character is ‘less dark’ almost as though mixed race is acceptable but somehow black skin isn’t.”

 

Click the title link for the full story.

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photo 2014-11-26 19:59

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review 2014-11-03 16:01
Unstoppable Octobia May - Sharon Flake
Unstoppable Octobia May - Sharon Flake

Natasha read it and loved it and passed it on to me. And I'm glad she did. It took me a little while to get used to Octobia's voice: her sentences are often short, and given her fantastic imagination it can sometimes be a challenge to figure out what she's saying. But those are smallish quibbles about a fantastic book. Octobia is living in her aunt's boarding house where she is allowed rather more freedom than her own parents are willing to give her after a catastrophic heart problem. She is immersed in Nancy Drew and the aftermath of WWII, and caught up in the struggles for rights for colored people and women. On top of that, she's trying to solve the mystery of the man upstairs who doesn't sleep at night and may be a vampire.

 

The entire cast is struggling against stereotypes and discrimination of various kinds, and most are also dealing with the traumas suffered during the war. There is a lot going on here, but the reader doesn't have to take it all on board: the book works well as a conventional sort of intrepid child story, in which villains are unmasked.

 

Highly recommended to both the middle school audience and to older readers who will enjoy the realistic portrayal of the 50s.

 

Library copy.

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url 2014-06-05 22:44
“Evelyn Is a POC”: On The Continued Whitewashing In The Divergent Series.
#Weneeddiversebooks but we also need to STOP whitewashing the characters of color in film adaptations of diverse books. Considering all the support the #Weneeddiversebooks campaign has gotten, it's disappointing to see all those many allies go silent when the announcement went out about the whitewashing casting of Naomi Watts as Evelyn Johnson-Eaton. A character who Roth herself proclaimed to be a "POC" aka person of color. I guess it's easier to support diversity when it doesn't require you to do anything too uncomfortable, like admit a popular YA author is a silent accomplice to racism.
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