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UPDATED: Twitter Reacts To Race-Bending Book Covers, Barnes & Noble Backpedals

By Kristy Puchko | Miscellaneous | February 6, 2020 |

By Kristy Puchko | Miscellaneous | February 6, 2020 |


UPDATE: In the wake of backlash over their proposed “Diversity Edition” line, Barnes & Noble is suspending the release and has canceled a promotional event, which was to be held at its flagship store in Manhattan.

Here’s the official statement that Barnes & Noble tweeted:

The original news story lies below.


The canon of classic literature is dominated by stories of white people written by white people. So to celebrate Black History Month, Penguin Random House and Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue is trying to change that make easy money by republishing classics like Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick, The Secret Garden and Emma with new covers that present the main characters as people of color.

They changed the books’ covers as if that papers over years of systemic racism in academia, literature, and publishing or modifies the history and contents of these books. Instead of promoting the great literary works of people of color, Barnes & Noble is using images of people of color to peddle books by white writers. The rancid cherry on top of this sh*t sundae: Barnes & Noble is calling this collection the “Diverse Editions.”

Yeah. Let that sink in.

AM New York reports each title within the Diverse Editions will have “five culturally diverse custom covers,” so consumers can pick what Romeo, Juliet, Alice, Dr. Jekyll, Peter Pan, and even Frankenstein look like—as opposed to doing that based on the text or their own imaginations.

Something tells me Barnes & Noble won’t be thrilled with the response their Diverse Editions recieved on Twitter:

Header Image Source: AM New York