Malorie Blackman: Racist abuse will not stop me seeking more diversity in children’s literature

Malorie Blackman

Our culture should reflect the reality of our world. Until we have a wider variety of protagonists, many children will feel invisible

There seems to be a belief held by some that the UK has a “cultural pie”. If that’s correct, calls for all our children to be able to access this pie does not mean those currently lucky enough to get a slice will end up getting less or losing out.

I recently gave a couple of interviews where I talked about the cultural world in general, and how UK children’s/young adult literature in particular needs to be more diverse and therefore more inclusive. I spoke of a desire to see more stories featuring protagonists with disabilities, protagonists who are LGBT, protagonists of colour, travellers, and British protagonists of different cultural heritages and diverse religions. These books may feature characters whose actions, thoughts and feelings are perhaps informed by their experiences and background, but which are not the focus of the story. I talked about wishing to see a more diverse range of literature available to all our children.

After all, we inhabit the same planet. Our country has and always will be multicultural. To those who doubt it, try reading Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem The British.

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Britain has not always been “multicultural,” Ms Blackman, and that is the problem right there.

I have no idea where your ancestors hail from, but I have no doubt that country would not enjoy having “multiculturalism” forced on them either. It is profoundly unnatural and avoided like the plague everywhere except in the West, where deluded idiots are running the show.

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