It would seem the blogosphere, or at least segments of the blogosphere is abuzz with anger over the cover of Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore. I know some of you are thinking what’s the big deal over the cover, it’s very pretty, etc. How would you feel, though, if you heard the main character is a dark-skinned girl from the far-east and instead of using a dark-skinned girl for the cover model, Bloomsbury used a white girl? Yeah, it kind of sounds like Liar-gate all over again.
Personally I think it’s a poor decision not to feature a person of color on the cover of a book about a person of color. However, I’m not about to blame the author, as typically the author doesn’t get much of a choice over the cover. I wonder at the type of message this decision sends young girls of color. I wonder if the message sent is oh, a book featuring a dark-skinned character would never sell, because white people don’t want to buy books with dark people on the cover. Therefore, we don’t value non-white people as much as white people. Personally, I think that’s stupid. I think we need to wake up and smell the coffee and realize it’s 2010, characters come in all different shapes, colors and sizes. Diversity is definitely not a bad thing, and one’s reading life can be so enriched with diversity! I know I’m not being very eloquent right now, but damn if I’m not angry that Bloomsbury seems to think I wouldn’t buy a book with a girl on the cover who is a different color from me. That’s messed up. Why would they assume white people don’t care to read about people of color? Do they honestly think I don’t read to learn about people with different life experiences with me?Or that I only want to read about people who are the exact same as me? Fuck that noise. I want diversity in my life. I want to read about people who don’t share my life experiences. I want to read and connect with characters who may look different from me, but share things in common with me, i.e. a sassy-personality. I’m thinking I want to include more books with POC cover-models and more books written by POC authors in my reading this year. Now, I won’t boycott buying from Bloomsbury, as someone mentioned that would onlyu hurt the author, but I will definitely voice my disapproval in a public forum, my blog and encourage all of you to do so and raise awareness over this issue. While you are at it, why not support POC authors? Why not read and blog about a book with a POC on the cover? I think that’s something simple we all can do.
To learn more about this controversy check out these blogs: