Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Black Kid's Lit Authors/Illustrators - Up 7.8% in 2008

The Cooperative Children's Book Center has posted its annual statistics on the number of authors of color in the field of children's literature. The numbers are based on the books the CCBC receives each year. They received about 3,000 children's books last year.

The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison has tracked children's books by and about people of color in the US since 1994. Its study of African American children's book authors goes back further to 1985.

In 2008, there was a 7.8% increase in black children's book authors or illustrators... 83 in 2008, up from 77 in 2007. Seems like the number of children's book authors or illustrators of color are up all around, according to the CCBC:
  • 48 Latino Children's Book Authors/Illustrators in 2008, up from 42 in 2007
  • 77 Asian American Children's Book Authors/Illustrators in 2008, up from 56 in 2007
  • 9 American Indian Children's Book Authors/Illustrators in 2008, up from 6 in 2007
You can read more about the CCBC's thoughts on the 2008 publishing season and these statistics by clicking here. Special thanks to Megan Schliesman, CCBC Librarian, for answering my questions on these stats. So, what are your thoughts on the stats?


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful batch of statistics! It's so nice to see numbers saying something good for a change. It may not be enough, but upward trends are a pleasure to see!

Color Online said...

Yes, I am glad the number of titles are increasing, but I am not impressed. The stats only support the sad fact that poc writers are underrepresented in the marketplace.

It is assumed that people of color can and do relate to characters regardless of color. Well, why doesn't that assumption to apply to all readers? Can't the dominant culture relate to characters who do not look like them?

Omoruyi Uwuigiaren said...

No doubt,it is a welcome development. We can still improve.

zetta said...

I got all woozy for a moment, thinking black authors were now 7% of the total--we're still barely there, but holding on--that's good. I don't feel celebratory about this news, but am glad you shared the stats with us, Kyra and God Bless the CCBC for offering a kind of transparency the publishing industry itself won't allow...

Paula said...

Like others, I'm glad to see it didn't go down. But the paltry number explains why we're so easily forgotten when any type of list (that's not specifically for books by poc) comes out.

We still have a lot of work ahead of us, individually and collectively.

Creations By Toni said...

it's great to see the numbers rising. i hope to one day be included in those statistics.:-D

Nicole Tadgell said...

Thank you for posting this interesting info!

So... if these numbers are based on how many books they recieve...who gives them the books? Are they getting every book published?

Another interesting point - not every POC author/illustrator puts out a new book every year. So they wouldn't be counted every year - they could be working on a project that hasn't come out yet.

Villager said...

You get what you measure. I'm glad that you continue to publish this information. Hopefully the upward trend will continue this year...

peace, Villager (aka your brother!)

ChristineTB said...

The numbers look a lot worse when you realize that some of those books are written by the same authors.

We have much work to do to level the playing field.

What do the numbers look like if we eliminate civil rights and slavery/historical books?

You know - stories like Moon over Star that have nothing to do with oppression and adversity. Be curious how many mainstream or "slice of life" books comprise that total.

Teresa said...


It would be great if you would add to the discussion and title list of the Allen County (IN) Public Library's 2010 Mock Coretta Scott King Book Award Blog. The URL is http://acplmockcsk.blogspot.com/

Teresa Walls