1. When an American student learns to read, odds are they’ll be reading about white people.
In 2013, multicultural publisher Lee and Low Books created a graphic illustrating the state of children’s book publishing in the US. They found that though around 37% of the US population are people of color, only 10% of children’s books published had multicultural content. This gap hasn’t changed since 1994.
A University of Wisconsin study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center also found that of the 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people, or 2.9% To put this in perspective, in 1965, when a similar review of children’s books was done, 6.7% of books had black characters. This was at a time when eight of the publishers included in the study published only all-white books.
Put another way, we have less diversity in book publishing now than we did before the civil rights movement.