June 13, 2015
Just when you’ve had way more than enough – here comes way more.
The professor is Melanie Koss of Northern Illinois University, just beyond the last suburban outpost of Chicago.
According to Koss, an associate professor in the NIU education department, 75 percent of the main characters in children’s picture books published in 2012 were white. Also, 45 percent of those children’s picture books showcased white culture — whatever that is — as the primary cultural milieu.
Koss, who as a college-level professor specializes in books written for children and young adults, explained that her research consisted of investigating the contents of 455 books for little kids.
She noted that she also found that 90 percent of the books’ authors and 83 percent of illustrators were white.
Koss, who also appears to be exceptionally white, said she believes that the authors of America’s children’s books must work to increase “consciousness and comprehension of the nation’s pluralistic fabric,” according to an NIU press release which was proudly featured on the front page of the taxpayer-funded school’s website as of Tuesday morning.
“People want to read about themselves,” Koss proclaimed.
“But if you never see yourself in a book, what does that tell you about how you are valued? You’re not,” the professor added. “We still have a long way to go. Seeing diverse populations in children’s literature needs to become the norm, not the exception.”
In actual fact, very few people read to their kids any more, and I don’t think Black people ever did that.
That said, there exists an entire genre of Black children’s books.
Both those things having been said, most of the characters in children’s books are anthropomorphized animals, and thus have no human racial identity.
Here’s an Amazon list of the best-selling picture books.
Of the top 12, 8 feature exclusively animal characters and one has a Black kid on the cover. So 25% of the human main characters on this list are Black, which means Blacks are overrepresented by more than twice their actual population population in America.