Junot Diaz, Ken Chen, Dawn Davis and Johnny Temple are just a few of the voices in the second installment of Lynn Neary’s series on diversity in publishing. (Here’s the first, and here’s the Pew study mentioned above.)
A wondrous assortment of silk slips, scented baths, handcrafted cocktails, glaces composées, dreamy meals, and equally dreamy lovers, all set in bustling 1920s Australia, makes up the lively, colorful world of lady detective extraordinaire, Phryne Fisher.
I keep hearing good things about Phryne Fisher, so I threw a couple on the TBR. I ought to read them.
And then I saw that Melissa Fumero had been cast as Amy Santiago on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I felt my guts roll up into my throat and try to escape out of my mouth. Omgomgomgomg that’s it then. There’s no way in hell a major network is gonna cast two Latina actresses in such a tight ensemble show I AM SCREWED.
And then next day my agents called and told me I’d booked it.
I couldn’t believe it. I had been saying to my boyfriend the night before how there was JUST NO WAY. Normally, The Latina is a singular element of the ensemble she is working in. She’s there to provide contrast, or sexuality, or humor. Or she’s there to clean the floors and/or steal your man. There are some serious stereotypes very much alive in film and TV today, and The Latina is one of them.
Here’s the thing though. The world is changing. Slowly but surely, television is changing. The character stereotypes are changing, or being turned inside out by some fantastic writers and actors (I’m looking at you, Orange is the New Black, Scandal, and The Mindy Project). People of color are on TV playing roles that are fleshed out, complex, human. And yes, some of those characters are maids. Some are sexy heartbreakers there to steal your man. Some own BBQ joints, while some are Chiefs of Staff. Some are prisoners, and some are cops. All are real people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, and all the other vast human emotions and desires…
…This is important. Because young women are watching TV, and they are getting messages about who they are in the world, who the world will allow them to be. And in big important steps, television is showing a reflection back to those young women that YOU CAN BE WHATEVER THE HELL YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE, and that two Latinas on one show is NORMAL. I think that’s a win for everybody.
[image description: a banner that reads A MORE DIVERSE UNIVERSE 2014 September 14-27 #Diversiverse]
It’s time to sign up to participate in A More Diverse Universe!
For those who have not heard about #Diversiverse before, it’s a very simple challenge. For those of you who have participated in the past, it’s even easier this year. The criteria are as follows:
- Read and review one book
- Written by a person of color
- During the last two weeks of September (September 14th - 27th)
I’m going to be participating! I’ll be reviewing at least one (lesbian/bi women) PoC book in the last two weeks of September!
This will just be a warm-up for me, because in 2015 I’m aiming to read only PoC authors, while still reading about 50% lesbian/bi women content.
I’m excited to participate in Diversiverse for the third time! I’ve learned about so many great books and authors through this event.