We Never Stop Needing Windows and Mirrors
In the library world, we say the content of books and other media provides windows and mirrors which reflect all of us, after Rudine Sims Bishop’s original 1990 article.
We do this a lot in the context of why we need diversity* in children’s and young adult books.
We say, all children need to be able to see themselves in what they read/watch/hear (the metaphorical “mirror”, validating that they are seen, they count and matter, and are not “side characters” on earth).
We say, children also need to read widely to explore, learn empathy, and have windows to other cultures that they are not familiar with.
This paradigm has since been broadened with the nuanced addition of prisms and more.
Clearly it’s not just children who need and benefit from diverse books. We never stop needing mirrors and windows.
And we cannot prescribe diversity for children if we adults aren’t open to stomaching material outside of our own comfort zones.
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