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Writers Against Racism: Quotes

This is the first installment of quotes from the W.A.R. series. There is MORE (much more) to come…

These quotes serve as great talking points and discussion starters.

“In this regard, literature not only humanizes, but brings people closer together to show the commonalities we have, as humans trying to understand ourselves and our place in the world.”  (Tony Medina)


“It didn’t exactly help my self-esteem to only see Asian Americans portrayed in the movies and on TV as either science nerds or asexual martial artists, and it only feeds ignorance and racism to hew so closely to these stereotypes, which is why I believe the more variety in perspectives we can offer readers the better.” (David Yoo)


I agree with Amy that teachers should be challenged to incorporate truthful, historical accounts through their fiction selections to get students talking about race: about how it has divided us as a nation for centuries and about how young people can solve the racial problems that their parents and grandparents haven’t been able to solve.” (Dr. George E. Stanley)


“I think it’s important for teachers AND students to know that literature has multiple uses, and that means not only featuring novels in ELA classes, but incorporating poetry, plays, songs, and films across the curriculum…and those various texts should reveal different points of view, which often *doesn’t* happen when everything was written a hundred and fifty years ago by white men …I love some of "the classics" but agree that educators should meet students where they are NOW.” (Dr. Zetta Elliot)


"Children need to read all sorts of stories, reflecting different cultures, experiences, perspectives, in order to open up their view of the world, and of themselves within the world." (Laura Atkins)


“Literature, film, and art, in general, are invaluable and critical lenses when looking at such cultural/social constructs as "mainstream" and "other" — which is what race is. Art is the solid, physical manifestation of the imagination, and that is what, as educators, we strive to expand in our students.” (Neesha Meminger)


“And this is why diversity is so important in literature. EVERY group of people needs to experience that perspective shift, step outside of themselves. And everyone deserves to be the hero at some point.” (Nnedi Okorafor)


”If I can cause people to let their guard down, even if it is just with some paint on a canvas, maybe they will go one step further with an actual human being next time they have the opportunity.” (Jesse Joshua Watson)


“I received some criticism for my first few books, from people who said I was being "politically correct" by including racial minorities. That made me laugh. There are racial minorities in my books, because there are racial minorities in my life.” (Brent Hartinger)


“The environment we wake up to every day affects our lives differently than, let’s say, someone living in the heart of America, and yet we love, dream, and cope with similar challenges.” (Anna Levine)


“I read voraciously, endlessly, devouring stories of people like me — rejected outsiders, orphans without the help of elders, misfits, eccentrics, wistful wannabes — all heroes who survived and triumphed on their journeys.” (Mitali Perkins)


  1. George Edward Stanley says:

    Amy, you are incredible, and we all owe you such a debt of gratitude for leading the charge to help rid this country of the insidiousness of racism.

  2. Amy Bowllan says:

    George, there are so many goodies embedded in these stories, it’s important to keep them alive. If you read back to your letter to AG Holder, that letter set the W.A.R. series in motion.

    Thank YOU, George!