leeandlow submitted to medievalpoc:

The Diversity Gap in the highest grossing science fiction and fantasy films. Sad, right? You can see the full study here.

I highly recommend reading the entire article.

from the infographic:

Among the top 100 domestic grossing films:

  • only 8% of films star a protagonist of color
  • of the 8 protagonists of color, all are men; 6 are played by Will Smith and 1 is a cartoon character (Aladdin)
  • 0% of protagonists are women of color
  • 0% of protagonists are LGBTQ
  • 1% of protagonists are people with a disability
Love this checklist from Lee and Low Books on How to Create a Diverse Book Collection

Here are eight steps to all-inclusive reading:

  1. Does your book list or collection include books with characters of color? LGBTQ? Differently-abled?
  2. Does it include books with a main character of color? LGBTQ? Differently-abled?
  3. Does it include books written or illustrated by a person of color? Of different nationalities, religions or sexual preference?
  4. Are there any books with a person of color on the cover? Do the characters on the book covers accurately reflect the characters in the book?
  5. Think about your student population. Does your list provide a mix of “mirror” books and “window” books for your students—books in which they can see themselves reflected and books in which they can learn about others?
  6. Think about the subject matter of your diverse books. Do all your books featuring black characters focus on slavery? Do all your books about Latino characters focus on immigration? Are all your LGBTQ books coming out stories?
  7. Do you have any books featuring diverse characters that are not primarily about race or prejudice?
  8. Consider your classic books, both fiction and nonfiction. Do any contain hurtful racial or ethnic stereotypes , or images (e.g. Little House on the Prairie or The Indian in the Cupboard)? If so, how will you address those stereotypes with students? Have you included another book that provides a more accurate depiction of the same culture?

Thanks Lee & Low Books! Any educators out there who have other tips or find it hard to find books by or about people of color?

       Wise, B., Adam G. (Illus.), (2012). Silent Stars: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc. Silent Star is the story of William Hoy, his love of baseball, and his journey of overcoming his disability in order to play the game. William lost his hearing at the age of three due falling ill with meningitis. He had always dreamed of being a major league baseball player, but his dreams seemed impossible now that he had lost his hearing. Regardless of his disability, William didn’t give up his passion. He continued to play baseball behind the shoemaker’s shop where he worked. As luck would have it, he was discovered by an amateur team coach. William’s talent in baseball spoke for itself and he proved that he could still make his dream come true. William became one of the first deaf major league baseball players in history even though most people thought he would fail!

       I loved this book because of the positive message it sends. I think kids these days need encouragement to reach their dreams and to be strong regardless of obstacles that stand in the way. I also really liked that it is a non-fiction book, and a biography about a historical character. I am usually not partial to biography’s, but I found this one captivating – from the text on the page to the beautiful illustrations - I was engaged the entire time. I also enjoyed the statistics and facts that are added in the book, incase students are interested in learning further about William and his accomplishments.

       In the classroom: This is one book I would definitely include in my classroom. Not only is it a great Lee and Low book, making it a valuable multicultural read, but it also has many positive messages to relay to children. Students can take the time to reflect on their dreams, and how they might one day make them possible. Non-Fiction. AE.


Ira’s Shakespeare Dream    

By Glenda Armand
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Ira Aldridge dreamed of being on stage one day performing the great works of William Shakespeare. He spent every chance he got at the local theaters, memorizing each actor’s lines for all of Shakespeare’s plays. Ira just knew he could be a great Shakespearean actor if only given the chance. But in the early 1800s, only white actors were allowed to perform Shakespeare. Ira’s only option was to perform musical numbers at the all-black theater in New York city.

Despite being discouraged by his teacher and father, Ira determinedly pursued his dream and set off to England, the land of Shakespeare. There, Ira honed his acting skills and eventually performed at the acclaimed Theatre Royal Haymarket. Through perseverance and determination, Ira became one of the most celebrated Shakespearean actors throughout Europe.

Ira’s Shakespeare Dream at Lee & Low books: https://www.leeandlow.com/books/2885

[Ira Aldridge; portrait by William Mulready c. 1840]

MedievalPoC posts about Ira Aldridge, Shakespearean Actor in Victorian London