Diversity Spotlight Thursday

I haven’t done one of these before but it looked like fun and I do love to read diversely, I’m just not exceptionally good at it. Last year all but 8 of my 154 books read were by women, but a mere fifth of that total was by WOC. Okay, there was one man of color in there because how could I possibly have resisted all the hype (well deserved) of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates? Yeah, it wasn’t going to happen. It was amazing, you should totally check out that book. It is not, however, the book that I’m going to mention for this Diversity Spotlight Thursday, that would be cheating after all that and there are much more to come! Also, because I’m just that kind of person, we’re doing a set for books and a set for comics. I feel like people just don’t know enough about the awesome diverse comics that are out there.

Particularly because this is the first time I’m doing this meme, I will elaborate on the rules, as specified by the originator of Diversity Spotlight Thursday, Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks:

  • In all your posts, if you could give a brief description of what the meme is and who hosts it (linking it to this post so new bloggers can get all the background and the intention behind the meme), that would be MUCH appreciated. But again, not required.
  • Feel free to use the banner above. No need to credit! (I didn’t use it, but she has a cute one. I just don’t use any pictures other than book covers. No good reason for it, I just haven’t.)
  • Please also feel free to leave your links in the comment section of my posts. That way, I can keep up with everyone participating while also adding more and more diverse literature to my TBR. 🙂
  • You can use the hashtag #DiversityThursday to feature your posts on other social media platforms
  • Have fun!

Okay, so here are my book selections! (and yes, they are all #ownvoices)

1.A diverse book you have read and enjoyed

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism - Karima BennouneThere are not enough awesome things that I can say about this book. It’s kind of like the Hope in the Dark of the Middle East. Kind of. To be fair, I haven’t finished Solnit’s book yet, but that’s not the point. This one is chock full of people fighting back against radicalism with art and community.

It’s kind of a radical idea on it’s own but maybe, just maybe, the question shouldn’t be “why do they hate us?” but “what makes people so willing to be hateful?” because it’s not just us that the infamous “they” of that question hate. It’s so much bigger than “us”.

2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read

Dear Zari: Hidden Stories from Women in Afghanistan - Zarghuna Kargar

This has been on my TBR for longer than I’ve had this blog. Okay, okay, I may be a little obsessed with Middle Eastern women. No I can’t explain why. It’s not that other books don’t interest me, it’s just these women’s lives are veiled in so much mystery because of the little that we know about how they deal with what we think we know about them that I just devour any story I see about them.

I know, I feel like a bit of a creeper just saying all that too. Alas, this does not mean that this book made it to the top of my TBR and into my read pile. At first it was a little harder to get my hands on and since I’ve had challenges and stuff to finish. But I made it the “D” for my Litsy A to Z Challenge, so it will definitely be read this year!

3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

American Street - Ibi ZoboiI cannot be the only one enthralled by an immigration story, can I? This sounds amazing and I really can’t wait to get into it. I’m sure I will have to wait because it’s not on a challenge TBR and I’m sure my library won’t pick it right away and I may end up just buying it anyway even though I super love my library.

First of all, this cover is just fantastic, but here’s the description from Goodreads:

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

So, yes, going on the TBR and going to be read, hopefully this year. Even then, it probably won’t be until the end of the year, though. Boo. But I WILL read it. It looks fabulous.

Okay, are you ready for some awesome comics?????

1. A diverse comic you have read and enjoyed
Black Panther: World of Wakanda (2016-) #1 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Alitha Martinez,Yona Harvey,Afua Richardson,Roxane GayI chose this one because I’m pretty sure everyone knows how awesome Ms. Marvel is and even though she’s written by a woman, she’s not written by a WOC.

Plus, how could I not give a shout out to this new series based on WOC and written by a WOC and that still has so few ratings on Goodreads (58 to be exact). Anyone who says they’d love to see more diversity in comics should really pick this one up. Did I mention that the WOC who writes is none other than the amazing Roxane Gay of Bad Feminist? Yeah, it is.

Okay, I know I really should have gone with the #ownvoices if I’m going to do a comic set in Africa, so I’ll sneak in this little link to the amazing book that is being made about a superhero in Africa and that is independent from the Marvel machine: E.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams Part One: A Superhero Graphic Novel. Seriously, check them both out!

2. A diverse comic that has already been released but you have not read

Ms. Marvel Vol. 4: Last Days - Marvel ComicsYeah, I’m going to totally lean back here on the series that I already read and love because I’ve noticed that though some comic debuts have over 2000 ratings, their succeeding issues do not. These are amazing comics and I don’t know if people just don’t rate the next few comics or if they are like me and just fall off the radar for long periods of time before bingeing on them. So, a comic that I really must binge through the rest of what’s been released really is the aforementioned Ms. Marvel, aka Kamala Khan.

I read volumes 1, 2, and 3, but have totally dropped the ball and both 4, 5, and 6 are out now but I haven’t touched them. It’s disgraceful. Fortunately, it’s the worst of my issues ever since I did totally catch up a few month ago on the delightful Lumberjanes! Yes, yes, I know the author isn’t all that diverse, but I’m pretty sure just being a woman counts and we’re talking about Ms. Marvel here. She’s the first woman who is Muslim and of Middle Eastern decent to be a title character in a US comic and she’s AMAZING and they’re absolutely doing it right from all accounts on the series. And she’s also adorable and a big fangirl and I can’t get over her.

Okay, okay, if you’re going to be a die hard about it, check out Ta-Nehisi Coates’s

3. A diverse comic that has not yet been released

Invincible Iron Man (2016-) #1Yeah, there’s really one comic that would qualify for this and I know it has technically been released but only in Kindle format and I don’t feel like that counts. I need a hard copy. Where are the hard copies?!

Did I go ahead and buy the stupid Kindle edition? Yes, of course I did, but I really enjoy having that flimsy physical first issue for all my leading ladies and WHERE IS THIS ONE?

I also kinda want the variant with Arielle Johnson in it too. Such a great article about her and how she got to be on a variant cover.  So, when they finally do get around releasing the physical copy, I’ll buy it too.

And yes, this is again not written by a POC but it is a headlining superhero who is a POC and that can be just as powerful because representation matters and this is a very underrepresented genre. Writers and such matter too and many comics are collaborations and they get passed around between writers and illustrators and all that, so I feel like the headliner can be just as good but mostly I wanted to talk about how psyched I am about Riri Williams.

Okay, so those are my choices. I know I skated on thin ice with the comics, I promise this is the only time I’ll do them but I couldn’t help myself. Has anyone else done this meme? Feel free to link your post in the comments here, but definitely hit up the originator of the meme on her post which can be found here:


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