POC Reading Challenge

January 21, 2010 § 17 Comments

I didn’t expect myself to be joining yet another reading challenge so soon. But here I am. Joining the “People of Colour Reading Challenge”.

So what is the POC Reading Challenge all about? Simple. It’s a challenge aimed to highlight and celebrate authors and characters of colour.

Racial tension and discriminination is not something new to me. And the last thing I would want to do is promote the uplifting of one particular race over another. Having said that, I don’t think that’s what this challenge is about. I see this challenge as a way to embrace diversity, not as citizens of any particular country, but as active participants of humanity.

I’m joining this challenge to show to myself, and anyone else who might come across this blog, that there is a world of diversity out there. I’m joining this challenge to let my own horizons expand, to allow myself to learn more about the different cultures of the world.

For me, this challenge isn’t even about ‘positive discrimination’. It may be for some people, but it’s not like that for me. I’m challenging myself to actively seek out POC authors (however you may interpret POC) to show support. The same way I actively seek out Malaysian authors. In reading and blogging about them and their books, I’m hoping that in some small way, I’m helping make them a little more known, and a little more accessible.

Do I necesarily have to like their books? If it’s well written, yes. If not, no. No different from my reading any other book. But because they’re not as readily available, not as prominently publicised, not as widely circulated, it’s necessary for me to actively seek them out.

Does that mean I will only read books by POC authors? No. That defeats the purpose of my wanting to expand my horizons.

Okay. Enough of my rambling.

I’ll be joining at level 5, which is to read 16-25 POC books. And I’ll probably be doing a lot more books of Asian and Middle Eastern origins, than of African-American, Hispanic, and other POC origins. But we all have to start somewhere.

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§ 17 Responses to POC Reading Challenge

  • 🙂 I joined too. I’m a bit ashamed of myself that I haven’t read much fiction by PoC authors, and I’m hoping to diversify my reading more. You can see my own rambling on this challenge here: http://fewmorepages.blogspot.com/2010/01/poc-reading-challenge.html

    Looking forward to seeing what you choose to read this year!

  • Eva says:

    I think you put that SO well! I don’t think my POC reading is about positive discrimination either, but it’s difficult to convey precisely why. Especially over the internet. 🙂

  • mee says:

    I’m now interested to find out the percentage of my POC reading last year. Is it as much as I thought?

  • savidgereads says:

    If I hadnt said I wasnt doing any challenges this year then this would be one of the challenges that I wouldnt be able to resist. I will look forward to your posts as you go!

  • JoV says:

    You really surprised me of how our choice of books are similar. For the past 2 years, I have been seeking out for Asians and Middle Eastern literature.

    Can I recommend a British author named Tahir Shah? “The Caliph’s House” will entertain and make you laugh, moreover it’s a non-fiction and it’s a true story! I also read lots of books written by Journalist authors, Christina Lamb wrote about the “Sewing circle of Herat”, then there is “The bookseller of Kabul”, and very recently I just finished “Three Cups of Tea”. Who said non-fictions are boring?!! You just need to know what to pick! 🙂 and you will love “The Girls from Riyadh” too. it reads like Saudi Arabia’s chick lit. (All books mentioned are reviewed at mg blog, key words at search box). Can’t wait to hear what you think!

    • Michelle says:

      You are bad for my reading list. =p

      I completely forgot about The Bookseller of Kabul, which I’ve been meaning to read since I found out about it. And your other recommendations just resonate with me.

      I completely agree. Non-fiction is awesome! Will definitely try to check those out in the next couple of months, or after I finish the ones I’ve horded.. And I definitely welcome more recommendations of this kind. =)

  • kiss a cloud says:

    Like Simon, I’m also not doing challenges this year but have a bunch of POC books on hand, and of course the Asian books we’ll be reading together. 🙂

  • Vishy says:

    Wow – 15 to 20 books by POC authors in a year is quite an impressive goal! Wish you all the best for your challenge! Looking forward to reading your reviews!

  • Mel u says:

    I think I will join this challenge also-In the Japanese novel we have a national literature that can be easily compared to any European origin literature, without condescension-I just completed Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki-written in 1924-it seems to me a very good novel for the POC challenge as it shows the destructive and seductive power of western culture on young people not educated in their own traditions-by and large the novel is a European oriented art form and the best of the Japanese writers are all deeply read in European classics-several have advanced degrees in French and English literature

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