Black Lives Matter: A Letter to My Readers

Greetings and salutations. I realized today, far too late, that I have been amplifying Black voices and sharing Black Lives Matter resources on my social media (primarily my Twitter feed) but that I haven’t made any direct statement on my blog. I apologize for the inexcusable delay.

Black lives matter. It shouldn’t take yet another murder of an unarmed Black person for white people (including me) to say that. The voices of Black creators have been silenced for far too long—please see the #PublishingPaidMe hashtag and the New York Times bestseller list conversation on Twitter for just a small look at the racial inequity in publishing—and all white creators, readers, publishers, and critics should have been paying attention from the beginning to what Black and other non-white creators, readers, publishers, and critics were saying about injustice.

My reading list has been far too white. There is no excuse for it, and I apologize. To correct that, I do not want to just post a list of works by Black creators and call it a day; I want to take action and consistently do better moving forward. That is not a slight against those who are currently posting lists of Black art, because it is very important (right now and always) to lift up works by Black creators. I myself have found new books to read and new movies to watch and new people to follow. A lot of Black creators are seeing a surge of support, both financially and in terms of social media interaction, but they are understandably skeptical that this support will continue in the long run. Thus, I want to sustain this antiracist energy and continually make this blog a far more inclusive space to celebrate children’s literature by creators with diverse voices.

My platform is small, but I do have a platform, and it was irresponsible and disrespectful of me to ignore this issue on my blog, particularly when dealing with something as important and as formative as children’s literature. I am sorry. It is no one else’s job to hold me accountable, but if you ever feel the need to hold me to this promise to feature and review more art from marginalized creators, especially Black creators, I would be grateful to you for doing so. And I am making that promise right now. I will review children’s books to the best of my ability with deliberate increased inclusion of marginalized identities.

Black lives mattered yesterday, they matter today, and they will matter tomorrow. I apologize if I ever made any of you feel that I believed otherwise, and I promise that my future content will better reflect the depth and breadth of incredible children’s literature that we are lucky enough to have available to us.

Thank you for reading,

Jessica Scott

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