The Unrelenting Whiteness of The New York Times Summer Reading List
When The New York Times’ Janet Maslin released her Summer reading list for 2015, the fact that it contained 17 books by 17 white authors did not go unnoticed. In a year when national events have made race, diversity and embracing difference a topic of national discussion, many were stunned that Times’ Summer reading list of 2015 is so homogeneous. Jason Parham, writing for Gawker congratulated Maslin and The Times for achieving “peak caucasity,” and Slate.com’s Katy Waldman wondered if Maslin “believed she had compelling reason to confine her search for worthy books to a single racial group”.
Proof That People of Color Write Books
The silver lining: in response to Maslin’s inexplicably uniform reading list, a diverse group authors, publications and commentators have created alternative summer reading lists that are more inclusive. Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC’s The Melissa-Harris Perry Show wrote an open letter to her audience, with her own surprising suggestions for re-connecting with books and with reading itself. As Harris-Perry puts it, “Reading is about finding something new in ourselves and expanding and sharing this extraordinary world of ideas with one another:”
Other alternative lists include: