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. :|