The Black Experience: The Need For More Black Representation

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Hello, everyone!

Welcome to The Black Experience, a month long blog series through February, in honour of Black History Month, which features Black bloggers, booktubers and authors. This project aims at highlighting Black stories and experiences both in real life and in publishing, as well as showing our individual and collective struggles.

Today’s post is by Saoudia, a French Canadian Black book blogger. She talks about the need for more black representation in publishing. You can find Saoudia on WordPress on @withlovesaoudia.


everyone on book twitter agrees that black people are more than trauma stories… everyone but publishers it seems. because almost every single book with a black lead i see on goodreads is either about a racism or has metaphor for it…

hi guys my name is saoudia and i am a french canadian book blogger @withlovesaoudia! i’m very excited to write rant about how we need more positive black representation in books.

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growing up, my favorite characters were harry potter and aurélie laflamme (a character from a french canadian book series) and let me tell you, there was zero to no person of colors in those books. as you may also know because i wrote about it before, i grew up in a predominantly white environment, and i still live in that same environment, so i didn’t really grow up with black friends that weren’t my cousins or family friends children. it’s a shame and if i ever have kids i don’t want them to grow up like that.

i personally have yet to have found a book character i can completely relate to. someone who grew up in a white environment, but who doesn’t despise her blackness. because, yes, news flash, i don’t hate the fact that i’m black. and i never have. HOWEVER! when i read a book and the main character is from a white environment, they always seem to hate everything that reminds them they are black. and i do NOT get it. what kind of bullshit representation is this?

i can’t wait for the day i will read a book about a girl that happens to be black and that doesn’t hate herself for it and doesn’t go through traumatic experiences because of it.

is that too much to ask?

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i saw a week ago, that Bloomsbury has acquired a guide written by the founders of the black girls book club that will help young black girl grow up and answer a few of their questions. and i am so glad that we now have books like this for black kids. books that i did not have growing up, books that help you take care of your 4c hair, and let you know your “black nose” is beautiful.

i hope we get more of those in the future, because it is needed.

another type of books i would love to see, are new adults about a group of friends. i personally find it really hard to make black female friends and i would love see more of those in books. i love stories with strong friend groups and it makes me sad that in most of them (now..) there are mostly only one person of color? who said there couldn’t be more? it’s like authors are scared of putting more people of colors in their stories.

i would love to see more queer stories featuring black people. stories that don’t involve a lot of traumatic stuff. i don’t need to read about homophobic stuff. just give me the fluff. and the sapphic stuff. because i feel like when we talk about queer books we mostly just get m/m books. which are good, but hey, girl and nonbinary people exist too, you know?

there are so many more stories featuring black people i want to see. and i think publishers either don’t care about us or just underestimate us. they think we don’t read, it won’t be popular, they only think about the money and since most of them of are white they don’t understand that the world isn’t just white people.

and to this i say,

fuck them.

we deserve to be seen too.

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Saoudia’s links

twitter

blog


 


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4 thoughts on “The Black Experience: The Need For More Black Representation

  1. Oof, I felt this entire post. Especially this: “i am so glad that we now have books like this for black kids. books that i did not have growing up, books that help you take care of your 4c hair, and let you know your “black nose” is beautiful.” While I remember reading few books with POC when I was little, I don’t remember //one// book I read that had a main Black character, and I’m so glad there are more Black characters in books and media than 10 (or even 5, or 3) years ago. But as I said in another comment lol, we need more!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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