What Color Is Publishing?

March 1998
by Rennie Mau, Chairperson, MPEC

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At a recent trade show, an executive from one of the major publishing companies upon seeing our Multicultural Exhibit was quick to say, “Oh no! Don’t you know the multicultural fad is over?” For the past eight years, the Multicultural Publishing and Education Council’s (MPEC) vision has been to educate and bring about “authentic multicultural content.” Perhaps the “fad” is over and the hype labeled with different names every few years, but the issues remain the same. For us, political correctness has often robbed or silenced our stories. Yes, multicultural publishers have the same problems that most small and big publishers have with marketing and distribution. People have said, “Quit the whining!” But the fact remains that much of what is labeled and sold as “multicultural and diversity” in the US is still pseudo versions which contain no historical or cultural accuracy. For instance, last year at BookExpo when I walked the convention floor, I was amazed at how many exhibitors advertised diversity and inclusiveness with their booths displaying beautiful artwork and images of people from different ethnic backgrounds. The physical landscape sure was different from five years ago. But upon examining many of these companies’ list of publications, I discovered that many had almost no titles, no authors, nor any illustrators of color. Perhaps for them multiculturalism and cultural diversity is more a marketing plan than a reality. I remember once when a PMA member questioned…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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