Yet Another Letter, And A Quick Review

So the dust has settled in the wake of the “Magic Under Glass” kerfuffle, and I’ve written another letter. This time, the cover’s been pulled and will be changed (w00t), but Bloomsbury refused to ‘fess up to whitewashing (un-w00t). Today, I emailed them the following message:

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Dear Bloomsbury Publishing,

Thank you for responding to the calls for a new cover for “Magic Under
Glass.” I appreciate your willingness to correct the cover so that it will
truly reflect the main character.

However, I am still troubled. Nowhere in your company’s response did I see
words to the effect of, “We did not believe that a cover with a person of
color on it would sell as many copies as a cover with a white person. That
marketing strategy, called ‘whitewashing,’ will never again be employed at
Bloomsbury. We are heartily sorry for the damage that we have done with our use of that strategy, and we will work with people of color to develop a
plan to select, cover, and market books by and about people of color.”

Your adjustment of the “Magic Under Glass” cover provides you with an
excellent opportunity to renounce whitewashing. I ask you to seize this
opportunity not just as a reader, but as a librarian who purchases all of
our library’s Young Adult titles. I can tell you that our teens love to
read books by and about people of color; your own “Liar” flies off the
shelf, new cover and all, and it happens in a community that is nearly 100%
white.

I look forward to your announcement that you will renounce whitewashing,
and to your new era of fair representation of people of color.

Sincerely,
Jessica Neiweem

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Will it do any good? I don’t know, but I know that I’m done with silence. That’s enough to keep me writing.

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