Let’s Talk: Diversity Is Not A Bad Word // BookTube & Book Recs

Diversity is not a Bad Word

Hello friends. This blog post is incredibly spur of the moment so bear with me. I was originally planning on posting my #ReadThemAllThon Wrap Up, but this is way more important. This post is going to be all over the place. If I say something that’s not right please call me out on it.  

If you weren’t aware a video was uploaded on YouTube recently where a white woman basically said that diversity was the worst word in the world and then went on to cry about how she’s sick of seeing “Non-White Character” lists and people wanting diverse books ect. and probably a lot of other awful, ignorant and racist things that I didn’t see because I stopped watching three minutes in.

I’m white. I have no idea what it means to be oppressed or to experience racism. I am an aromantic, mentally ill woman so I have experienced ableism and misogyny, but not to the degree that POC would have. As a white person I realise that I’m going to have internalised racism. All white people have internalised racism. The majority of my teen years were spent with me being EXTREMELY ignorant and uneducated. I didn’t have the resources we have now. However, now there is honestly no excuse for people NOT to educate themselves. Everything is a literally a Google search away. I am always learning. I am always trying to better myself and we should all be doing the same.

Recently, my mentions were filled with racists because a football player from the team I support called out a woman who didn’t have a problem with putting black face on her child. If these people were genuinely unaware of cultural appropriation then I would have politely pointed them in the right direction. Except these people did know and they didn’t care. And that’s when we have a problem.

As white people we are constantly being told that we’re good enough. We don’t need to worry about being killed because of the colour of our skin. We are always being celebrated. We can take all these things POC are being killed and abused for and turn them into “fashion”. Black women have faced being fired from their jobs because of their natural hair, but white women can do the same and a magazine will talk about how it’s “the hot new trend”. How many innocent black people have been killed by police? How many Muslims still have to deal with 9/11 abuse being hurled their way? I can not imagine what it’s like to constantly be living in fear.

We have absolutely zero right to be angered because marginalised groups are asking for representation that they rightfully deserve. And we have absolutely zero right to be angered because those marginalised groups ARE being celebrated. #OWNVOICES is a beautiful thing and I will ALWAYS support it.

There are so many awful things happening in the world and you’re trying to say that “diversity” is the absolute worst? That is some absolute bullshit right there. I know I’m white. I know I’m privileged. That, however is a whole new level of privilege and ignorance that I will never understand or be a part of.

Diverse BookTubers You Should Be Watching

Instead of that woman receiving hits and traffic that she does not deserve, here are some people you should be watching instead!!

First of all check out this incredible playlist that Marines created. There is 80+ diverse BookTubers on this list!

I also want to give a shout out to the incredible Naz @ Read Diverse Books. Honestly Naz’s blog has taught me SO MUCH in the past six months.

Hannah @ A Clockwork Reader

Ameriie @ Books Beauty Ameriie

AnaΓ―s @ Clockwork Kitten

Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

Jeann also blogs @ Happy Indulgence

Ngoc @ happycomesfirst

Ngoc also blogs at happycomesfirst

Sanaa @ InkBonesBooks

Marines @ mynameismarines

Adriana @ perpetualpages

Naya @ NayaReadsandSmiles

Chami @ ReadLikeWildfire

Rincey @ Rincey Reads

Monica @ shemightbemonica

Joce @ squibblesreads

Joseph @ The Boy Who Cried Books

Diverse Books

I will admit that the majority of the books I’ve read have not been diverse. I am trying to change that though. Thanks to blogging and BookTube I have discovered so many incredible books that I want to read! This just a few of the ones I’m hoping to get to soon. I truly believe that everyone should be making an effort to read diverse books. I guarantee there will be SOMETHING that you like.

These books all mostly focus on race, but I want to put another list together of books I want to read that focus on sexuality and mental illness.

Covers = Goodreads

Adult Fiction / Non Fiction

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi The Vegetarian by Han Kang Stained by Abda Khan
Contemporary – Set in Nigeria. Contemporary – set in Ghana. Contemporary – set in South Korea. Contemporary – British Born Pakistani MC.
Santa Muerte by Lucina Stone In Order to Live A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park Shelter by Jung Yun
Fantasy – Mexican folkore & time travel. Memoir – Yeonmi Park’s journey of escaping North Korea. Contemporary – Asian-American family.

Young Adult

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Fantasy – Indian MC with focuses on Indian folklore and mythology. I’ve read this and the writing is beautiful.

Contemporary – Mina is a refugee from Afghanastan. Fantasy – MC is an albino Nigerian and gets transported to another world. Contemporary – MC is a Puerto Rican Lesbian.

Graphic Novels & Comics

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
Non-Fiction Graphic Novel – memoir about Mariane Satrapi’s life during the Islamic Revolution. Comic – Pakistani American Muslim MC. I’ve read this and it’s AMAZING. Highly rec if you’re new to comics!!

Other Links to Check Out

If you watch any of the BookTubers I mentioned or have read any of these books I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Share any of your own recs if you have them!!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day xx

42 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Diversity Is Not A Bad Word // BookTube & Book Recs

  1. Well said!
    I think it’s terrible that people judge others by where they’re from or the colour of their skin. Not to say that I haven’t made inappropriate comments or had racist ideas at times of my life, but I’ve learned from them, and try to do better now. But if you cut us open, we all bleed the same, and so we should treat and respect each other the same.
    I’ve seen quite a few of those booktubers, and have been working on expanding the books I read, and have really enjoyed the whole thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t watch anyone I BookTube because it’s just not my favorite platform of social media. Thank you for this post! I am half-white, half-Korean so while I did indeed experience the privilege that comes with being white, I also experienced the ridicule of being half-Asian, filled with the very cliche insults like “Do you eat dog?” “Aren’t you supposed to be good at math?” “That [food] looks disgusting!” And yes, as a woman, I have been catcalled and leered while walking in public.

    Thank you for writing a genuine post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love love love what you said ! Even though I haven’t watched that video and do not intend to I can see what kind of things that person is saying. And I follow most the booktubers you mentionned and I absolutely love them. I hope to read more diverse books and I have SO many on tbr so I’m on the right track right ? πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve seen today people talking about that video on twitter but it was already deleted so I didn’t see the video.
    I like how you actually spotted diverse booktubers here (some of them I watch on regular basis like Marines and Joce who are among my favorite booktubers.
    Also books you mentioned are on my tbr list and I plan to read Amerianah and In Order to Live very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such an amazing post, Lauren – you identified some really amazing BookTubers (not all of whom I’ve watched before – I’ll get right on that!) as well as some great, diverse books. As someone who’s both East Asian (Korean-American) and mentally ill, it can be really difficult to find books that provide representation of the intersection between race and mental illness (especially when it comes to cultures that have prominent stigmas against mental illness, aka East Asian culture πŸ˜‚), so that’s something I’m always keeping an eye out for! Like always, I loved this ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s not much I can say except PREACH! I haven’t seen the video and certainly don’t want to. Definitely going to check out the Booktubers you recommended, I’ve never heard about any of them until today so there’s a lot to watch πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a great post Lauren, and something I feel needs to be mentioned in the world of YA books as well! I haven’t seen the original video you were talking about that inspired this post but in my opinion there needs to be more diversity in books, it’s need to be more common place as well, if that makes sense! I will also admit I’m not big on the booktuber side of things but I will definitely check out the videos you’ve featured! πŸ™‚
    I need to start adding more diverse books to my to-read list. The only one you’ve featured that I’ve read is The Star-Touched Queen, but the rest sound pretty amazing and the fact that they feature diverse characters as well is a major plus for me. I’ll definitely be adding a few to my to-read list in the coming days! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t really hang around Booktube because I get lazy, but thanks so much for this post and your recommendations, Lauren! Now I know where to start if I ever do. ❀

    BUT I do try to read a bit more diversely just because I feel like books like When Michael Met Mina, for example, are very much relevant currently and reading them helps open my mind to new arguments and sides that I might not have thought about before. I really wanna read Juliet Takes a Breath soon, so I'm glad to see that you've included it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for this, honestly ❀️ it seems like such a little thing but showing support even when it’s technically not your fight goes a long way. I’ve always felt that it’s very important to evaluate oneself and to always work on growing as a person.
    Thanks so much for the recs! I can’t wait until I have to share some of my own.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this post! I’ve had this diversity in books post on my draft for a while but I’ve been waiting to post it until I read more books featuring diverse characters. But with all this buzz about diversity, I think I should post it sooner :’) The thing is, I’m asian and Muslim but before ‘diversity’ became an issue, I never cared about it before. I enjoyed a good book about white people as much as everybody else. But now that it was pointed out, I feel like diversity is really really important. Books are powerful tools to send messages out there and sending message about diversity is equally important. Great post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nicely said, Lauren! Diversity is indeed NEVER a bad word, in fact it is super important that it is pushed and promoted even more. Everyone deserves to be represented. I try to read diverse books, but the truth is I could still read more of them – definitely working on that though. Thanks also for all the great booktube recommendations, I’ll for sure be checking them out!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is amazing! Thank you so much for posting this! I’ll be sharing via my social media accounts πŸ™‚

    I also just subscribed to a bunch of new booktubers! Gah I’m so excited to binge them now πŸ™‚ I’m still easing my way into YouTube as a booktuber myself, so it’s great to be exposed some awesome new channels/people.

    I just finished Homegoing and it was incredible! Definitely opened my eyes to a new POV/look at history. I also really love the Ms. Marvel comics. The other titles listed here I’ll have to look into more.

    Thank you again for writing/sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your post is perfect. I’m always learning and trying to better myself, especially when it comes to overcoming internalized racism, a thing I think can be solved, at least in part, by first admitting we have it and educating ourselves. Your post outlines this nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful post, Lauren!
    I didn’t watch the video, and I am actually really glad that I didn’t. I don’t think I could stand watching twenty-two minutes of that racism and bigotry. And you are so right. Nobody has any excuse to not be educated today.
    Also, thank-you so much for sharing so many great, diverse booktubers. I now have so many more wonderful bibliophiles to watch on Youtube.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a great post and hats off to you for writing it. Diversity is VERY important in books and it’s nice to see how everyone teamed up and is calling that one Booktuber out for what she said.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I didn’t watch the whole video – I watched 2 minutes and had enough after that. It was absolute vitriol, and some of the things are so misguided and ignorant. To add onto something that you said – a lot of people of colour have internalized racism too, and it manifests in terrible, hurtful ways – especially in how those same PoC view themselves. I know I did (and it messed me up), and for the longest time especially when I was a teenager and didn’t know a damn about the reach of prejudice on an institutional and systemic level.
    Anyway, thank you for writing this, Lauren. Thank you for speaking out against it, for giving this issue voice, and also highlighting a variety of beautiful and intelligent vblogers. And, thank you for sharing your personal history/experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Really great post! I couldn’t get through half of the video because of how badly terrible it was. So many of the ideas said were so VERY wrong. Books with a white cast of characters are not only disregarding other races but they’re also wrongly interpreting what a lot of society looks like now. I know that it’s not always the writer’s intention and I am so glad to see V. E. Schwab and other like authors admit to their mistake and say they will learn from it! It makes me so glad when writers really make that effort to include people of different race or sexuality etc. to a story!

    I’m not a writer myself so I don’t quite understand how difficult it may be but as a POC, I have friends that are white and I know we’re not all to different! There may be some festivities or culture celebrations we might celebrate but those really aren’t spread toward the whole race and it’s really open to everybody! Just because I’m a POC doesn’t change me completely, I find links to so many main characters except that link to race and I know a lot of people feel the same way and to other links as well!

    This was such a great post and it’s great to the love being shared to Youtubers and vooks alike! A graphic novel I recommend is the Lumberjanes series if you haven’t read it before! It’s a series that’s so much fun and adventure and it includes a diverse set of characters πŸ™‚ I don’t feel like diverse characters have to be focused on and I actually prefer it if it were just stated like a white person is because we’re more than our skin colour/sexuality/religion. These books feature those characters as PEOPLE and they are such an adventure to read!


    1. This is such a great comment, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your thoughts and experiences β™₯ I definitely agree with everything you’ve said. I understand authors worrying about whether they’re appropriating a race or culture, but like you said we’re not that different!

      Lumberjanes is one of my favourite comics ever! I absolutely love it.


  18. Finally getting a chance to comment!

    Again, thank you so much for writing this up. I can tell that you really mean every word and care about diversity and inclusion. It’s baffling how offended some people are by it when inclusion will not harm them in any way. The anti-diversity folk will continue to have books written for them, that’s not going to stop. So why are they so threatened? ugh. Anyway, happy thoughts!

    I followed the rest of the Booktubers I wasn’t already following. I love Adriana’s videos. She’s so smart! Same with Joce. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This is a really well said post, especially since we seemed to have made progress with diversity, and yet lately there are a lot of controversies around it, it’s like we’re taking a step backwards. I can’t wait to check out those books and booktubers! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This is an AMAZING post. I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said, Lauren. Thank you for the diverse booktuber and book recs, I’m the first to admit that my reading habits are not the best when it comes to seeking out diversity, so I’ll definitely be checking out some of those. πŸ™‚ I really do hope that the word diversity stops being thrown about as some sort of swear word in the book blogging community – it’s really upsetting that people can’t take the time to educate themselves and understand before casting shade and insulting other people! x

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Lauren, I appreciate this post so much because you are coming out and talking about an issue from the sidelines and it is really important. Thank you so much for including me in your list of booktuber recs, I have discovered some great new ones to check out too!

    Liked by 1 person

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