Diversity and Inclusion: Media and Entertainment
Written by: Leslie Chan
Recognizing the issue of cultural diversity, society has made steps to recognize people of color in the entertainment industry. By looking over past history of presented awards, one can see how the statistics show a shockingly small percentage of winners were people of color, women, or both. Beginning in 2014, a burst of media coverage brought the issue of diversity to the forefront, highlighting how creators of color were heavily underrepresented. As a result, the numbers of awards have become more culturally diverse, but does not change its past statistics.
Society can only hope cultural diversity and inclusion are not merely a fad, but here to stay.
But how can someone contribute to or learn about cultural diversity? Since published items are easily accessible, the easiest way would be to support authors of color by buying novels, poetry, and other written works. Publishing companies are working to remedy the lack of cultural diversity, with editors looking to increase diversity on their lists. However, finding traditionally published books written by minorities may be difficult. To complicate the situation, 88 percent of the publishing workforce is caucasian according to a 2016 survey by Publisher’s Weekly. To help readers of The Pacifican, I have included a list of written works for readers to look into.
Milk and Honey- Rupi Kaur: Rupi Kaur writes about her experiences that occurred throughout her then-21 years of her life. I believe it to be a powerful read, not because they may find the trauma, raw sexuality, and stark feminism shocking, but because they may find it familiar. This book is about acknowledging the hurt done to us by ourselves and others, and how to go about healing those hurts.
Love and Misadventure- Lang Leav: The journey from love to heartbreak to finding love again is personal yet universal. Lang Leav’s evocative love poetry speaks to anyone who is on this journey. Her talent for translating complex emotions into simplicity has won her a cult following of modern poetry fans from around the world. Love & Misadventure is her first poetry collection.
Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami: This book opens up human essences to show the souls that lie inside of us. It is a beautiful, sorrowful, but realistic novel about loss, human psyche, and relationships. It’s the story of college student Toru Watanabe, who must make a choice – follow the girl he loves as she wanders further into darkness or leave her behind in the hopes of finding a brighter path. Haruki Murakami himself was surprised at its popularity,
The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri: Jhumpa Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves. The Namesake is a fine-tuned, intimate, and deeply felt novel of identity.