C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens have all been celebrated for centuries and rightly so, their ability to make us fall in love with tragedy, feel a connection with the flagrant characters and get lost in the story-lines.
However, is there enough diverse literature taught in schools? Yes, the Brontë sisters pushed boundaries and so they have remained on the curriculum since the beginning of time, but do students have enough exposure to diverse novelist?
Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Junot Diaz and Ralph Ellison are honored within their own communities and the world of publications recognize their contributions to American Literature, but are their talents shared enough in schools?
Everyone remembers that moment when you read a book and you connect with a protagonist on a deeper level, every word that you read speaks directly into your life at that time. There is a comfort that we experience when a character appeals to our better nature. However, does America need to step out of its comfort zone and share stories of people who we would not necessarily associate ourselves with.
Diversity in Literature is a great way to connect communities and build a mutual respect for one another. Using the art of linguistics would be a great way to show the wonders, flaws and mysteries of other cultures and traditions. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Are students being moved by what they read in class?
There is something powerful and wonderful about being invited into someone else's world and through literature we can tackle stereotypes, manifested fears and prejudice by offering an alternative 'story' and sharing a prospective from a different champion.
Hot Topic: What are your thoughts? Are there enough diverse literature in schools?