By Tanisha Chambers
Every time I think of the word diverse, I think what it means to me? For me Diverse is not about one thing or one group, for me it is a system that makes up many things. It is a group of many diverse people, backgrounds, cultures, languages, traditions and etc. How does that relate to why diverse books matter? For me books that include black characters written by black authors are significant; the reality, there is a lack and not enough awareness and light being shined on that area of books. Growing up I don’t remember seeing books written by the culture that included characters that looked like me. So, I decided to started writing children’s books about my little sister Zuri, I wanted her to see herself in a book to show her that anything is possible from being in a book to having a role model that is determined to be fearless in her dreams. I wanted my sister to be proud in which I may say she is. There was defiantly a bigger picture then my sister, I wanted a character that was relatable to children and for them to be able to say I use to do that particular thing or feel that way or even my family behaves in that manner.
So why do our stories matter? A part of me want to just answer this question in a way that may not be the correct way such as “THEY JUST DO”, however I would not be doing diverse books with black characters and written by black authors any justice. Books that include us and are about us opens up our world to the many people that’s out there from White, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander. The only way for us to understand and be a culture that works together is for us to be open and inclusive to others. We have made strides over the years with many historical events from slavery, wars and many other things that has happened over the years. For us to be a culture that continue to overcome bias, judgment, and discrimination we have to be willing to include books that include black/African American decent that others are able to see us and hear our voices. So why do diverse books matter, you ask again? Well, I think that is a question you should be asking yourself.
Tanisha Chambers is a Children’s Book Author from Philadelphia, who is passionate about promoting literacy and diversity! If you’re looking for a children’s books that will tell a story, teach a lesson, and inspire your child – Tanisha’s books are exactly what your child needs to read!