Diversifying Bookshelves From Trend to Norm
World Literature Today|Autumn 2020
Diversifying Bookshelves From Trend to Norm
IN THE WAKE of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, America woke up to find itself in the midst of a national reckoning over race. Calls for justice and dismantling white supremacy began to touch every aspect of American life—including the literary world.
Bunmi Ishola

Black-owned bookstores received an unprecedented amount of orders and general support, eight of the top ten books on the New York Times’ nonfiction best-seller list for the week of June 21 were focused on race and antiracism, and there’s a general increased interest in literature by nonwhite authors as many readers work to “decolonize” their bookshelves.

This shift in reading is important. Books are a powerful tool in educating and enlightening our minds. Reading about race and listening to the voices of Black people are perfect first steps in becoming antiracist and understanding not only our own implicit biases but also the systemic inequities that continue to prop up white supremacy.


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Autumn 2020