Considering the fact that we only had to read one science fiction novel this week, I thought I'd take the time to begin reading If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson. No harm in getting a head start on my author study! I was particularly interested in reading this book due to the theme of a love story between an interracial couple. Being half black and white myself, I'd like to understand the reactions and effects that often come along with being in an interracial couple. As I've stated in previous posts, growing up I endured a lot of ridicule from my peers due to my skin color. I can't even tell you the amount of times I've heard people tell me that I need to "pick a side." Um excuse me, but how can I choose between two ethnicities that define who I am. It doesn't make any sense!
From what I've read thus far, one of Jeremiah's friends' is facing a similar situation as my own. As I was reading the comments surrounding the fact that his friend is biracial, I thought to myself-"glad someone can understand how I felt growing up!" Prior to reading The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake, I do not recall reading any young adult books centered on the issues of race and ethnicity. This is one of the main reasons why I chose Jacqueline Woodson for my author study. Growing up I often felt different than my peers because of my complexion. Reading books by Flake and Woodson, allow me to see myself in texts and understand the perspectives of many characters. I wish that I was given the opportunity to read books about individuals of color, while in elementary and high school. I think that doing so would have allowed me to cope better with how my peers were treating me. Books that highlight characters who are proud of their ethnicity, yet at times do face ridicule from those around them (let's me honest, this is a reality that will probably never change), are important for students to be exposed to. Not only for individuals who were bullied like myself, but for the bullies to develop a new perspective and understand that our differences do not mean there is something wrong. But rather we need to celebrate diversity...how can you not enjoy living in a world made up of so many different cultures, races and ethnicities?!
Below I have attached an interesting picture on found online. Mentioning that I had wished I was exposed to multicultural texts growing up sparked my curiosity to know if diversity is being recognized through literature in the classroom. Considering these statistics are from 2012, I wonder what the breakdown is today. Something I'll definitely have to look into!