Librarian Allie Jane Bruce took a group of sixth graders to Barnes & Noble to examine whitewashing on book covers, and this is what they had to say:
- “It was sickening to look at all the stereotypes, the assumptions.”
- “I think I was on the girls’ side of the bookshelf, but even so, that just shows that Barnes & Noble separates their books by gender.”
- “I know that kids’ minds aren’t developed enough to understand these issues, but as they grow up, I hope they realize how serious this issue really is. People have the right to like any color they want and be anything they want to be.”
- “Society is almost afraid of putting a dark-skinned or Asian character on the cover of a book. I feel like these are minor forms of segregation.”
- “I didn’t see a book with a biracial main character … it is not fair in any way.”
- “In the chapter book section, I saw that most of the books that had non-Caucasian characters didn’t have that character on the cover.
- “On the covers, I saw thin, pretty girls. I didn’t see any overweight girls or anyone with acne. I think that these covers shape an idea of perfect in a girl’s mind, and make them want to be like that, even though everyone was born perfect.”I wish this unit were taught to every sixth grade class in the country. Full article here.
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