Today, January 27 is the second annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day. The goal behind this annual day of celebrations and promotion is to call attention and recognize children’s multicultural books. Last year there was also a realization for the promotion of these books on social media and the hash tag, keywords were established #WeNeedDiverseBooks. This resulted in wide discussion for the need for more children’s books on diversity.
The need is not only for more children’s books that are multicultural but also for multicultural authors. Multicultural authors help fill the gap of expressing ethnicity in writing. All writers and authors need to be heard. Children of color need to not only connect with books that express a world that is multicultural but also be exposed to writing from people of their own culture and others. There is also a huge need for multicultural illustrations of not only different cultures but of all cultures working together. This image of working together peacefully helps visualize this concept in areas that for one reason or another are more segregated to different cultures whether this is intentional or just a geographic situation. Although segregation of schools was passed many years ago there are still many areas where this is not true. I can attest to this after teaching in an inner city schools where the children were in a reverse segregation of predominately black. Because of poverty , many children in these areas are not aware of other cultures. They only know what they see every day. If the students and all the faculty are of the same race, this makes them believe that this is the way the world is in fact. These children don’t have the opportunity to travel and be exposed to other cultures. They learn racism at home from their parents who also probably grew up in segregated neighborhoods without the education of racial tolerance. The key is in education and exposure to other cultures. This path should start with books and continue into other public media. Please help support the second annual multicultural children’s book day and promote support understanding of all races and religions.