Much has been written and said about books depicting American Indians that fall short either by branding them as savages, or overly romanticizing them.
However there are many books out there that simply tell the truth, and on Tuesday November 18 at 9 p.m., the website We Need Diverse Books will team up with American Indians in Children’s Literature publisher Debbie Reese for a chat about them on Twitter.
“It isn’t enough to support Native writers,” wrote Reese in a recent post on the website of We Need Diverse Books, which describes itself as “a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature.”
“We have to actively counter misinformation, too,” Reese wrote. “Join me, please, in supporting We Need Diverse Books. Our voices matter. Our books are out there. Buy them. Read them. Gift them.”
The book experts’ hope is that bringing attention to volumes that portray American Indians in a more accurate light could help Native kids stay in school longer, countering students’ tendency to “disengage in school because they don’t see themselves reflected in the curriculum,” Reese wrote in a post on the We Need Diverse Books Tumblr site. “I think those [dropout] numbers could change if Native children had more books about Native people, written by Native people.”
Secondly, such books “can counter the misinformation that continues to circulate in the Americas and, indeed, around the world,” Reese wrote. “Equipped with accurate depictions of who we are, non-Native students can be allies in and out of the classroom, helping us counter all that misinformation.”
Reese will join We Need Native Books librarian Allie Jane Bruce at #SupportWNDB on Twitter to chat with @diversebooks.