Today I am taking a break from talking about books, because there is something much more serious going on in the world – the Black Lives Matter movement.
This is a difficult post for me to write, because I do not want to get it wrong.
While I have remained silent on this blog thus far, I am not silent. I have been quite vocal on how things need to change – how I need to change – on my other forms of social media Then I realised that I need to say something here as well. While I may not have many followers, that shouldn’t stop me from feeling the obligation to do something more with this platform.
Over the past few weeks, I have taken the time to read what I can get my hands on. While doing so I have realised just how much I do not know, how much I do not understand (and never will). I have come to recognise that I am privileged, as a white, cisgender female. It is time for me to use my privilege for good, to do the best I can to help make the world a better place.
It is time to speak up. It is time for real change. It is time for everyone to do everything they can, and not just while this is a trending topic.
To all my black readers: I understand that I will never fully understand, but I stand with you.
As a book blogger I have a platform (albeit a small one), and I need to use it. So here are some actionable changes that will be taking place on this blog:
? I am committed to reading more diverse books. I have realised that I primarily read books written by white authors that feature white characters. This has to change. Readers – feel free to call me out on this if you feel like I am not sticking to this commitment. In fact, please do.
? I am going to read more non-fiction books that focus on anti-racism, black history, and white privilege.
? I am going to do what I can to support independent, diversity-focused publishing houses. I have recently discovered one called Jacaranda Books through Twitter, and have ordered several books from them. They all sound incredible, and I cannot wait to read them. I am going to actively research and find more publishing houses like this one, and do all I can to ensure that they remain in business.
? I am going to include a link to a petition, fund, or charitable organisation that I believe in on each post going forward. I am going to encourage my readers to actually click these links – read them, understand them, sign the petitions, and donate if you can.
? For the next year, I am going to donate any income from this blog to Black Lives Matter. I will be transparent about this on a monthly basis. My only source of income on this blog at the moment is affiliate links, which I include in all of my book reviews. As it stands I have not actually made anything from these links – I guess people are put off by affiliate links – so in the future I am going to point out that that all revenue I gain from these links will go directly to Black Lives Matter. I currently use links for Waterstones and Foyles in the UK, and am debating signing up for Amazon’s affiliate programme. Which booksellers do you buy from? This will help me decide which affiliate links will be the most beneficial.
? I will no longer work with problematic blog tour organisers or promote books by problematic authors. It has recently come to my attention that a blog tour organiser who I have worked with in the past is incredibly problematic, and I have ended all ties with her.
I would love your feedback on these changes. Do you think they are enough? Could I be doing more?
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Please take an extra few minutes and go and read and sign this petition: Justice for George Floyd.