Thursday, July 19, 2018

Only 1% of children's books have BAME main characters – UK study| the Guardian

Diversity | Race issues  | Picture books | UK | Children & teenagers

Research finds that of 9,115 titles published last year, only 4% featured BAME characters
‘Stark and shocking findings’ … a student browses in her school library. Photograph: Christopher Thomond 

Only 1% of British children’s books feature a main character who is black or minority ethnic, a investigation into representations of people of colour has found, with the director calling the findings “stark and shocking”.

In a research project that is the first of its kind, and funded by Arts Council England, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) asked UK publishers to submit books featuring BAME characters in 2017. Of the 9,115 children’s books published last year, researchers found that only 391 – 4% - featured BAME characters. Just 1% had a BAME main character, and a quarter of the books submitted only featured diversity in their background casts.

This compares to the 32.1% of schoolchildren of minority ethnic origins in England identified by the Department of Education last year.

“It is a stark and shocking figure when you see it in print,” said Farrah Serroukh, who directed the project for the CLPE and presented it to publishers on Monday. Read more...

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