Stereotypes and Book Diversity

Julie Roberts Towe

I’m from east Tennessee, from “the foothills of the Appalachian mountains”. Yes, I know the Appalachian mountains go way north to Canada and come all the way down to Georgia. But, I grew up in southern thick of things,  near the Tennessee/Virginia/North Carolina borders. We pronounce it as Apple-latch-un. If you say “lay-shun” instead of “latch-un”, you might not be welcome anymore.

I grew up with some racists, both the self-proclaimed kind and the in-denial-but-obviously-inclined kind. Generally, it was a distrust of anyone not in the family. There wasn’t a lot of coming and going out of my region, and families were intertwined like royalties, spread across towns. I could walk for miles and miles and still not be too far away from a distant kin’s house in an emergency. As kids, we did walk those miles. Our parents trusted the neighborhood because the neighborhood was family and of course…

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