The Difficulties of Publishing While Black

I don't think it's any surprise the publishing industry—print and digital—is overwhelmingly White. The statistics are far more upsetting than you might imagine: a recent Publisher's Weekly survey revealed the makeup of the industry to be 89 percent White, 3 percent Asian, 3 percent Hispanic, 3 percent mixed race, 1 percent Black, and 1 percent other. Twenty-eight percent of respondents admitted that many publishing houses suffer from a lack of racial diversity.

In a recent roundtable for Scratch, editor Manjuka Martin assessed the current state of the publishing world, writing, "most of the gatekeepers come from a place of race and class privilege. How does this skewed power dynamic affect the careers of writers of color?" Speaking with essayist Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Spiegel & Grau executive editor Christopher Jackson, poet Harmony Holiday, and author Kiese Laymon (who is a contributing editor for Gawker), the conversation touched on fostering community, staying true to the page despite an editor's advice, and the overall difficulties of publishing while Black.

You may also like


More in Black Listed