All tagged maya beck

The Shape of a Library, the Shape of Knowledge

Once, as a kid, while we were preparing for a move, I was helping clean out my family’s storage space and found a copy of Little Black Sambo. It was from the ’70s or before, possibly an original, and because of that, possibly valuable. I did not have any context for the book. All I knew at the time was that it was cute, though a little racist. I called my dad’s attention to it, and he most likely dismissed it as an old childhood book, but there had to be a story to it.

On Fantasies

My approach to race was cribbed from Diana Wynne Jones: you never need to state race, but you can hint at it. Give them olive complexions or wooly hair, a mix of physical descriptions. Readers can be lazy and skim it, or readers can be perceptive and see for themselves. The reader doesn’t always need to know, but you do.