These Teen Book Board Members blew me away with their insightful observations. I gave a summary of their points below. The Board Members listened to an NPR segment about Diversity in Comics and shared their thoughts. I also included a hilarious and incredibly inciteful YouTube video about the problem with comic books that Board Member Josh M. contributed. The video below is about the comic industry using publicity stunts (race) to seem like its being cutting edge but it is really all about sales.
Keith: I didn’t think the Miles Morales, Ultimate Spiderman, would sell because when a classic is tweaked people don’t enjoy the change so they don’t buy it. But because it was a mixed kid people wanted to buy it even though the other changes weren’t any better.
Justin: Why would they make changes if they have only been targeting the people already reading it, the white readers?
Annabelle: It doesn’t make sense that it was geared towards the white male, not all white males like comic books.
Alexia: It shouldn’t even matter what race is reading it. It should all be equal.
Josh: It doesn’t surprise me because I already knew this, the whole black Spiderman, female Thor. I think it’s a big publicity stunt but only a little move forward socially. It reminds me of Metroid when they realized the character after taking off the space suit was a woman. Suddenly everyone wanted to buy it because of that.
Julien: It’s like Josh said, I already knew. I was thinking how much Miles Morales changed the industry. It changed the comics to TV series; the characters have been changed from white in the comics to non-white on TV.
Miss Christina: How can there be a diverse main character in Children’s/Teen books without tokenizing the character?
Christina: There is Liar by Justine Larbalestier, in the book there is a main character that is black with a storyline that could apply to any race. Boy 21 is also a book with a non-white character.
Josh: Most of these writers are just using their own experiences to write about. Most of these writers are white, so the books have white main characters.
Miss Christina: Why are most writers white?
Christina: This generation, the black generation wasn’t asked do you want to be a writer. There was a study about politicians where each male politician was asked at one point if he wanted to be a politician and none of the female politicians were ever asked. Maybe there is a generation that hasn’t been asked, do you want to be a writer?
The following video has all curse words bleeped (listen with caution):