A college student wrote yesterday asking for my thoughts on teaching children to question and, when appropriate, dismiss stereotypes.
This was my reply: To me, the most powerful means of change is by example. Inviting both a Native storyteller to visit the class but also a Native attorney or engineer. Showing powwow video but also images of everyday life.
One of the ways I counteract the stereotype of "the primitive" is to do online chats with classroom groups. Saying Native people are not stuck in the past is one thing. Logging on to chat with one in cyberspace personalizes the experience.
That said, in neither my Native nor non-Indian stories do I set out to "bust stereotypes." I tell a story about characters I can believe in, and for the most part, it's a naturally occurring side effect.
Cynsational News & Links
According to The Purple Crayon, Meredith Mundy Wasinger (formerly of Dutton) has joined Sterling Publishing as a senior editor. She's acquiring picture books and non-fiction. See also Keeping Books In Print by Harold Underdown.
Author Elisa Carbone writes that her novel, Last Dance On Holladay Street (Knopf, 2005) is now available. See the description, author's notes, and review excerpts. Read my related blog entry.
Novelist Anjali Banerjee Mixes Culture and Humor by Linda Johns from Authorlink May 2005. Anjali is the author of Maya Running (Wendy Lamb, 2005). Read my related blog entry.
Empowering Young Girls: Author Julia DeVillers by Sue Reichard from suite101.com.