#OwnVoices Promotes Diversity In Books

#OwnVoices Promotes Diversity In Books

YouTubers use their voices to promote diversity in authors and books.
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On YouTube, there is a community of people that discuss books. We call these people, fittingly, BookTubers. They've always been around, but have been starting to be recognized more widely online, allowing them panels at various conventions such as VidCon.

Recently, they've been using their voices to promote diversity in books. Notable figures are Whitney Atkinson of WhittyNovels, who recently released a video explaining just what #ownvoices is, and Emma of emmmabooks, who has some twitter threads on diversity and a specific thread on diversity in publication and an upcoming release, Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth.

Atkinson's video can be watched here, and Emma's thread on Carve the Mark can be found here.

"I'm white, I am also cisgendered, heterosexual, and able-bodied," Atkinson said in her video on #ownvoices. "In every book I've read, and every TV show I've watched, or any other media consumed, I have been able to locate a person or maybe an entire cast of people that represent me."

"No matter what, there's always going to be a white person, there's always going to be a straight person, there's always going to be someone I can see myself in because in media and literature, this white, cisgendered, heterosexual person is the norm," Atkinson said. She later corrected herself and said that there usually is, instead of always.

Atkinson goes on to explain that #ownvoices is a discussion and movement in the book community to promote diverse literature written by diverse authors who have the experience of marginalization.

She points out that accuracy is important when reading about diverse characters because if, for example, a white author writes about a black man, they don't have the perspective as a black man and can really only go off stereotype rather than experience, which can be problematic.

In her video, Atkinson includes testimonials from people that have been affected by the #OwnVoices movement and thus solidified its importance in the book community.

From a personal standpoint, I never realized how few diverse books I've read in my lifetime and hope to turn to #ownvoices to change that and support diverse authors. I tip my hat to you, Whitney, for using your voice to point out what others may not have even realized.

In today's community, diversity is important in all aspects. It is crucial that people of different skin tone, sexuality, gender, body-ability have the same opportunities as everyone else, so they have a chance to tell their story and tell it accurately.

Note: In the description of Atkinson's video there is a list of diverse authors, bloggers, and videos to help further your research on #OwnVoices.


Cover Image Credit: feministing.com

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22 Post Malone ‘beerbongs & bentleys’ Lyrics College Kids Will Use As Insta Captions This Summer

It's here, and it's fire.
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If you didn't know, I am really not sure how you wouldn't know, but it's fine, Post Malone's new album FINALLY came out! Posty has time and time again proven that he's a trailblazer in the music industry. His genre is a mix of everything, from rap to acoustic guitar, and he sounds like he's at home in both settings.

Here it is, a list of Post Malone lyrics you'll use or see as Instagram captions. I can already feel it, this summer is Posty's summer –– a summer for "beerbongs & bentleys."

1. "Spoil My Night" - "Won't you come spoil my night?"

2. "Spoil My Night" - "Feelings come into play and I'm thinkin' this happens every time"

3. "Spoil My Night" - "Yeah, when I walk up in a party, they all act like they know me"

4. "Zack and Codeine" - "Been livin' fast, no I can't take it slowly"

5. "Zack and Codeine" - "But it don't mean nothing without all my people"

6. "Zack and Codeine" - "Pour that drink 'cause we ain't sleepin' tonight"

7. "Takin Shots" - "Heard that there's a party, I might pay a visit"

8. "Takin Shots" - "Baby, just for the night, you my soulmate"

9. "Over Now" - "I'ma turn the tables, promise you will not forget it"

10. "Stay" - "Damn, who are we right now?"

11. "Blame It On Me" - "These hurricanes inside of my brain"

12. "Same Bitches" - "Bottles on deck, and my drink full"

13. "Same Bitches" - "Population four million, how I see the same bitches?"

14. "Jonestown" - "It happens every time"

15. "92 Explorer" - "She in the front seat head bangin'"

16. "Sugar Wraith" - "And then I went and changed my life"

17. "Sugar Wraith" - "I take the lead, they just follow"

18. "Rockstar" - "Sayin, 'I'm with the band'"

19. "Rockstar" - "Livin’ like a Rockstar, I’m livin’ like a Rockstar"

20. "Rockstar" - "Sweeter than a Pop-Tart”

21. "Psycho" - "Can’t really trust nobody with all this jewelry on you"

22. "Psycho" - "I got homies, let it go"

Cover Image Credit: Post Malone // Instagram

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What Harry Potter Means To Me

A special thank you to the Boy Who Lived.
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Growing up, my sister was my role model; whether it be buying all the expansion packs for Sims 3, cutting my hair for side bangs, or playing with Barbies, I followed every trend that she did in an attempt to be just like her.

When she was seven, my sister moved to Youghal, a small town in County Cork in Ireland. I was too young to really remember her moving, but as I grew up, watching my sister, my best friend, leave my side without knowing when I would see her again became the most heartbreaking experience I could have imagined.

We used to play school together when we were young- she taught me how to read and write the whole alphabet in cursive and in print by the time I was five years old, and it was during this time that she instilled my passion for reading. From the time I could spell "c-a-t", she had thrust a book in my small hands- books that were much too advanced for a normal five year old, but I read them with such an avarice that I continued to find books far above my level.

When I was six years old, she bestowed upon me one that would forever change my life and how I viewed the world; it was her worn-out copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a novel by J.K. Rowling. When I first read the preview on the back cover, I found the plot somewhat boring- what is so significant about a young boy with a scar in the shape of lightning on his head? Not wanting to disappoint my sister, I decided to give it a try and was absolutely enraptured by the end of the first chapter. I fell in love with the eleven-year-old boy from 4 Privet Drive, Surrey, England.

The world of Harry Potter opened my eyes up to an entire new land, one full of magical creatures and friendships that would last a lifetime. We would stay up late discussing Harry Potter theories, debating back and forth on whether Snape was truly a hero or a villain, the logistics of Dumbledore and Harry’s relationship, and on whether Romione or Harmony should have prevailed.

Due to unfortunate circumstances, I did not see my sister for three whole years- from the ages of 12 until 15, the only time we made contact was through a screen, and this was a privileged rarity. During this time, I stopped paying attention to the Boy Who Lived. I was going through a series of rough patches, and just starting high school; it seemed silly to live in a fantasy world of my childhood, especially without my sister there to share it with me.

In the winter of 2014, I was given a chance to finally reconnect with the distant sister that I had missed so dearly; she came home for a week which, coincidentally, happened to be an ABC marathon of the Harry Potter movies.

I remember the sheer excitement in my sister’s expression as she snatched the remote off the table, muttering about Harry Potter as she found the channel for ABC like she had it committed to memory.

Apprehensively, I sat on the couch next to her to watch the movie (ironically, it was the last one). I didn’t remember all that much about the series, but I was so beyond desperate to once again connect with my long-lost sister, that I figured I would at least pretend to know what was happening.

It all came rushing back to me at the first shot of green light from Harry’s wand; it felt as though we were seven and twelve years old again, discussing in detail the plots twists and turns. She howled when Fred died with his last laugh still etched into his face, and I had to control myself from bursting into tears at the sight of Lupin and Tonks holding hands on their separate stretchers. Before I knew it, it was as though we were children again, completely entranced by a world that all started in the mind of a brilliant author.

Soon after, we passed on our tradition to our younger siblings; within a year, they all had read the series with our same voracity. Since then, I have made it my mission to keep my love for the series alive; my sister comes home more often for visits, and we have even taken the trip to Harry Potter World in Universal Studios together. I now own Harry Potter themed blankets, pillows, socks, and even makeup brushes- all of my siblings, in fact, have matching Harry Potter shirts!

Harry Potter has become a stronghold for not only my relationship with my sister, but a tradition amongst the entire family; no matter how far apart we are physically, we are bonded by our love for the Boy Who Lived.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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