Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Black History Month - what's on the table

One night in February, while wandering at my local Barnes and Noble, I saw a table marked "Black History Month."

The vast majority of the titles on the table were urban fiction.

I will admit right now that I am a literary snob. I read all kinds of books, some that could even be called trashy, but when I think about highlighting authors for a heritage celebration, the 'Round the Way Girl kind of titles just do not make the list.

[I really hope that is not the title of someone's actual book - I really just did throw that out for the sake of making the point. And there's nothing wrong with being and around-the-way girl.]

Anyway. The two titles on the table that were not "urban" or "ghetto" lit were a title by Nathan McCall (which could be urban in that it deals with the city, but that would be a whole lot of books, wouldn't it) and a novel by Zora Neale Hurston. [Yes, I should have taken notes, but did not.]

I should have lodged a little protest, but did not. Shame on me.

I am still flabbergasted that there's a manager or buyer or someone at the company who thinks that the hustler/gangsta/golddigga titles can make a Black History Month display.

How does that happen? I would have thought that the company would send a list of stores of recommended titles. But perhaps it's done store by store.

Still, it was disappointing. And no, it wasn't like the hoax in Coral Gables with a monkey title next to Obama books. This was an entire table - more than a faux stocker could handle without being noticed.

One upside, though - my kids weren't with me to peruse the titles. :|


Doret said...

I am 99% sure there is a book titled Round The Way Girl. I really don't think the stores care. If its by a Black person put it on the table. I remember there was a time I'd get upset because the Black History Month tables always had the same authors and titles. Morrison, Walker, Baldwin, Dubois, Hughes, Hurston, Ellison, Wright, Dr. King, etc now I long for those days.

Lafreya said...

The table for Black History month in my city had all of Zanes books. I about cried. The book stores don't care.