Introducing the POCathon

Introducing the POC-a-thon!

Myself, and Myn Kobayashi, Justin from Ghost Reader, Kevin from Story Glyph and Paola Mancera are hosting a People of Colour Athon.

This all about getting more people to read books about and by people of colour and give them the attention they deserve. The reathadon will be running from the 12th of August to the 19th so that’s plenty of time for you get your books together.

For a while now, there’s been a growing discussion on Booktube regarding diversity – and the lack of it. We’re used to seeing the same books, stories and authors getting pushed when there is a whole world of diverse authors out there.

So why is important to read books by people of colour?

Reading gives you a passport to the world. It allows you to travel to distant lands, and get a unique perspective by being able to see inside someone else's life, within the comfort of your own home.

Today we live in a world that is slowing turning to a tide of intolerance and hate. It’s more important now than ever to read books by people who don’t look like us, by people at margins of society, about people who have experienced a world very different to our own.

Hate stems from ignorance, from not knowing. Books are a powerful tool to travel through the diverse experiences of other people which in turn gives you the ability to understand and empathise with people who you otherwise might never come into contact with.

When I look at the books typically read on youtube, there’s an overwhelming number of white authors and white main characters. On book tube, I want to to see books that reflect the world we live in, and the people who live in it.  and n book tube, we’re in a pretty important position to promote and talk about books that reflect the many different experiences people have.

That's why we've put together a list of challenges you can get stuck into.

Reading Challenges:

1) Read books with main characters from three different races, ethnicities etc (can be in the same book but all main characters)
2) Read a classic book by an author of colour/or a translated book
3) Read a sci-fi or fantasy book by or featuring people of colour
4) Read poetry by an author of colour
5) Read a book that deals with racism, prejudice or immigration

If you're feeling extra zealous, I've got a few bonus challenges for you.

  • Read a book by  or about an LGBT person of colour
  • Read a book by a POC with a religion that differs from your own.
  • Read a book by a POC who was born in a different country to the one you live in, or that you were born in.

Reading diversely matters for two important reasons. First of all – what I’ve already mentioned, it endears you to the experiences of people who deviate from your definition of normal – from your world.

Second, rep๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฟre๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฟsen๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฟta๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฟtion. POC are used to seeing media and literature that doesn’t think they exist – and when they are, they are caricatured, stereotyped and degraded. I remember growing up; it wasn’t until I was 17, that I actually read a book with a black main character. It’s not through a lack of books and authors, it’s through promotion.

I hope this readathon will create a platform for Booktube to start talking about books from people of colour. It’s to encourage more people, and the book tube community, to start reading books with people that reflect our world.

In saying that, there isn’t a total lack of diverse reading on BookTube. I’ve seen countless BookTubers who never shy from reading diverse books.

Happy reading!

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