In this climate of racial tension, we must ask ourselves if we are doing everything possible to bring awareness to the young people that we serve in our classrooms. Teaching is a predominately White Woman's profession.
According to the National Center for Information in the Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011, 84 percent of teachers are female; 84 percent of teachers are white (Feinstritzer 2011). However, according to an article by Lesli A. Maxwell (2014) in Education Week, “The new collective majority of minority schoolchildren—projected to be 50.3 percent by
the National Center for Education Statistics—is driven largely by dramatic growth in the Latino population and a decline in the white population, and, to a lesser degree, by a steady rise in the number of Asian-Americans. African-American growth has been mostly flat” (this excerpt taken from Dream Wakers 2016)
The moral imperative to those of us who are white educators, then, is to search high and low for high-quality reading materials that feature cultural diversity.
Literature can reach into one's heart and mind when a reader connects with a well-developed character. Seeing a character's trials and triumphs develop in the pages of a book, can help a reader understand and empathize with a culture different from his own.
I encourage and challenge you to be deliberate when choosing literature for your classroom. Treehouse Books has some great recommendations here.
This information was taken from the Cooperative Children's Book Center