The little white boy that could... So I'm video conferencing with my wife and I remind her that my nephews Bday is steadily approaching and we need to get him something to read before he heads off on his own transcontinental voyage (This kid logs damn near as many frequent flyer miles as I do). So as we talk and surf the web simultaneously; me checking blog entries for the multiple typo's that I leave (I know, I know), and her in search of a good book for my little "jet setter" to rock on his travels around the world, until she comes back with "you need to check out the selections in the Barnes and Nobles Childrens Africana section" (my wife has a keen eye for the profoundly obvious) I knew right then I was going to have my next blog entry. So we said our good nights and good mornings and thats when I started my research/study/critique/rip session on some punk ass literary tycoons...
Mind you, the defenders of Barnes & Nobles will say these are based on certain criteria (blah blah blah), or the categories are computer generated (just like the wal-mart planet of the apes fiasco) but lets get one thing clear, the computer dont input data, people do, and this is the focus of this blog entry.
Who decides what is Africana? Is it a programmer from some suburban town with 10 black families? Is it the board of trustees, working with the publishers to ensure the maximum exposure for their products? How does a book like The Adventures of Huck Finn end up in the Africana section in the first place?Now I cant rip on the fact that if you go to childrens africana and use the bestseller input that 3 Twain editions pop up in the top 10, thats not my argument, I just wanna know who said these books represent childrens africana?
The little white boy that should, while my own personal bias towards/against this book isnt the only reason for my position.
***Huck Finn established/maintains the "lovable" notions of a more genteel time. Where a little "free sprited" white boy could lead a runaway slave on a journey along the mississippi. This story has been the corner stone for every black/white buddy movie in hollywood, 48hrs, the Toy, Mission Impossible, White men Cant jump, you name it, and somewhere in the story I see good ol Huck leading Jim up the mississippi, okay maybe its just me, but this book will never be on any of my top tens except Books that shouldnt be required reading in every public school in america?***** My real question is towards Mr.Riggio. It would seem that as an individual who has created one of the biggest venues for the aquisition of books on the planet, that you would have a better lets say "understanding" of the operational mechanics of your empire. Now I see you have an outstanding management team (none of which are black), with accolades and acomplisments that any literary tycoon would love to have working for them, but my question to you Sir is, would you consider Huck Finn to be Childrens Africana? I mean you gotta know a little something about books, its what you do...
Yo Leo, I thought you were on the Black Childrens Community Crusade tip like it says in your bio? Huck Finn doesnt have shit to do with childrens africana, thats like saying Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back is a black film because Billy Dee Williams played Lando, so get at your peoples and fix this shit up, thank you.
"Dont Let the smooth taste fool ya!"
Posted by Naro%