"I grew up reading a generation of American and English people like [Saul] Bellow, [John] Updike or [Martin] Amis. Everybody’s neutral unless they’re black — then you hear about it: the black man, the black woman, the black person. Of course, if you happen to be black the world doesn’t look that way to you. I just wanted to try and create perhaps a sense of alienation and otherness in this person, the white reader, to remind them that they are not neutral to other people."
— Zadie Smith, discussing how she never mentions the race of any of the characters in her new novel, NW, unless they are white. (via theraconteurasaurus)
(Source: NPR, via hyvvga)
"Why are stories important? Because their narratives reflect fundamental truths about our lives. They entertain us, yes, but at their best they illuminate, teach and redefine us. Stories don’t exist outside of societal concerns, they are entirely a part of them: they are the green shoots off of a sturdy limb. So when the stories we validate with attention and praise all happen to grow off of one relatively small branch of a huge, beautiful tree, we are obscuring the reality of the world we all live in. We’re actively avoiding the things that stories do uniquely well. Even worse, by denying light to the other branches of this tree, we’re making it harder for those stories (the stories of the majority of people in the world!) to survive."
Alaya Dawn Johnson, author of The Summer Prince, answering the question “Why is diversity important?” at Beth Revis’s blog (click through for several other authors also answering this question, including Marie Lu, Alex London, and Rae Carson)
#YES THIS EXACTLY #when i was a kid i thought people like me weren’t real #do you know how much i cried when i found books by muslim authors #with muslim girls being heroes #with them struggling like me?
#we need those stories #because it reminds us that we exist
#so come on people #step up to the plate
(Source: diversityinya, via hyvvga)
my history professor told me today that he “likes the way I look vaguely pissed off” during class