Diverse YA Literature & Race
Using Multicultural YA Literature to Examine the Impact of Racism on the Lives of Teens of Color
YALSA YA Lit Symposium – Austin, TX – November 2014
Abstract: Many authors of young adult literature take a critical look at the impact of racism and poverty on the lived experiences of teens of color. Their characters are aware of the privileges white teens share and the institutionalized racism present in the economic, educational, and judicial system. In this presentation, participants were introduced to YA literature titles that explore the concept of white privilege and discussed how these books can be used to give voice to teens of color and to allow teens in the dominant culture to see how the world looks from the perspective of someone else.
Resources Used During the Workshop
Text Graffiti Exercise
Text graffiti is an effective technique to expose individuals (youth or adults) to subsections of a text prior to having them read the full text. Individuals read selected quotes or excerpts out of context, silently comment on them and then respond to their peers’ comments -all in writing. Similar to the write-around technique, text graffiti allows thoughtful reflection prior to beginning conversations. According to Teaching Tolerance, this technique facilitates discussing race and racism with teens (in the library or classroom) because it allows the adult to “set the tone for text-related discussions about challenging, sensitive or controversial topics.” The excerpts we used during the workshop can be found here.