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What it is like to be black in UK publishing

Jul 03 2020

Publishing is in the middle of a reckoning. In the weeks since the death of George Floyd, as black authors topped UK books charts for the first time, and #Publishingpaidme exposed the disparities in what black and white writers are paid, publishers – long criticised for employing overwhelmingly white workforces who cater for white readers – have been grappling with their record with black authors, editors and agents. And black people in publishing are not holding back, sharing details of the “hostile environment” they’ve been working in.

Last week’s release of the Rethinking “Diversity” in Publishing report confirmed what many people already knew. With interviews with 100 authors, agents and publishing staff, it found that UK publishers still serve a supposed core audience of white, middle-aged, middle-class readers, a mission that changes books by black writers in ways that are invisible to a reader by the time they hold the book in their hands…

Source: The Guardian

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