MLA Platinum Award Press Release

What it's like to be Black in publishing

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What it's like to be Black in publishing

Jul 02 2020

The publishing industry has long been criticized for hiring and retaining so few employees of color — according to a survey of the work force released this year by the children’s book publisher Lee & Low Books, only five percent are Black. But the calls to diversify have intensified in recent weeks, as Black professionals have publicly shared long-suppressed frustrations about how racial prejudice has affected their work. In publishing, that has included discussions of hiring practices, workplace microaggressions and publishing companies’ treatment of books by Black writers.

Publishers say they are listening. They are seeing books about race and racism dominate best-seller lists, and several companies have committed to changing their hiring practices and the books they publish...

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