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Yes, seems about right

The mainstream publishing world continues to sideline contributions by Latinx authors. A 2020 article in The New York Times found that only 11 percent of all books published in 2018 were authored by people of color. Bolstering these findings, only about 10 percent of the 2020 New York Times Bestseller List were written by people of color


The US by race is about 75% white.

Among schoolkids it looks like 44% of whites can read proficiently, higher than that for Asians, about half the white rater for those folk of colour.

As a little stab in the dark let us assume that the books are written by the literate. The white literacy rate seems to be double the colour one, we start with 25% of the population being of colour, we end with 11% of the books written by those of colour which is around half the 25%.

Seems around and about right to me.

Sure, it’s appalling that the literacy rates vary so much but it’s not wholly terrible to think that that might be the cause rather than racism in the publishing industry……

17 thoughts on “Yes, seems about right”

  1. “Latinx”: I keep suggesting that ‘Hispanix’ works better but people pay no heed.

    Anyhoo, under the old USian habit Pushkin and Dumas (both) were POCs.

  2. Knock me down wiv a fevver. The most liberal woke industry is stuffed with racists.
    Or maybe some books are better than others.

    On the rugger, it’s not easy to judge England’s progress when the opposition doesn’t turn up. Jones’s discards Lawrence and Malins the pick of the backs, only because the others never got the ball.

  3. Patrick Mahomes is black. Or so the State Broadcaster here tells me.
    Which is going to mean that in a couple of generations it will be impossible to realistically estimate the black and white populations of the USandA, ‘cos if seven of your eight grandparents are white, you ain’t white. And if 4 of your eight grandparents are Indian, then you can be black. I think.
    We should stop now in trying to estimate these occupation population proportions.

  4. ” in a couple of generations it will be impossible to realistically estimate the black and white populations of the USandA”

    It’ll certainly make the race baiters lives easier. Person X will be black or white depending on whether they want them to be the hero or villain of the piece…….and with so much interracial ancestry knocking about who will be able to gainsay them?

  5. Right.. Going through the 2020 NYT list, and the exerpts for fiction, besides the Usual Subjects like King, Clancy and all that shyte, all the obvious “Latinx”and “POC” authors do ……

    Bog standard modern/alternative modern fantasy, except the Heroine ( heroes have been Out since the 90’s, unless they’re gay, vampire, or both…) is now Mexican or the black bastard son/daughter of a slave owner. Righting Wrongs in all the right places against, etc…
    Bodice ripper territory with a protag and plot inserts that ticks all the Woke Boxes.

    My bet is that they emerged from the Slush Pile to receive the amount of promotion to get them on that list because they tick the Woke Boxes, not because of originality or literary excellence.

    And whoever pays attention to the NYT bestseller list nowadays anyway? (Except Salon Hacks..)
    That thing only exists to promote studio-staple names and those Pleasing to Nuggan. It’s become a thing to avoid for any decent writer.

  6. Actually 11% is a bit low, if you assume black literacy rate half that of white and ignore Asians or include them as “white”. 25% black, half literacy rate, means 12.5n out of 87.5n literate are black so their share should be 14.28% and 11% is only 77% of that.
    Greedy capitalists aren’t likely to neglect profit opportunities so we need to look for a secondary, less influential factor e.g. greater black participation in Basketball, American Football, Athletics, Boxing at college, less in English Literature, Journalism …

  7. And what’s the spilt between male and female authors these days? Female authors seem to have taken over sci-fi and fantasy and turned it into a sub-genre of woke romance novels. The male authors have in some cases gone woke just to appease the publishers in hope of being published at all

  8. US literacy rates vary enormously across social classes. A friend of mine was once involved with chemical weapon detection systems. In order to sell to the US military they had to simplify the instructions to match a 12 year olds reading proficiency. They also found they needed to supply them in ring pull opening packages to enable the end users to open them with minimal training.

  9. Current BBC series about Jermaine Defoe (the v good goal scorer who want’s to now try his hand at management. let’s join him in his journey as we see what obstacles he has to overcome by dint of having a surfeit of melanin in his epidermis.)

    “A 2022 report showed that while 43% of Premier League and 34% of English Football League players are black, only 4.4% of managers are black.”

    – Idk why don’t they just deal with that honestly? if the bbc think there should be no difference between the black and non black figures, they first have to explain or at least address the 40/34 % number. maybe 1 groups better at running,kicking or some such. Maybe (entirely feasible) that group are better at trying, wanting dedicating themselves to practice. I dunno but why can’t they just actually address it? If your whole spiel is —this is uneven because 40 p.c of players are dark pigmented then how can you just leave it there with all the insinuations it entails?

  10. Also managers tend to be older so what did the % used to be based on previous generations of players
    Ignoring demographic time adjustments is a common trick in the discrimination game

  11. @AndyF, re instruction/use simplicity.

    That has very little to do with literacy or intelligence, and all with ease and effectiveness of use in the field while unfriendlies are going all Dalek on you…
    I’ve worked with similar field kits as a student during the mandatory fieldwork you have to do as a biologist and in the lab.
    Even with some proven capability in the literacy and intelligence department well above average, some ( no, make that most..) of those kits tend to be enmanualed in lab steno, complicated, time-consuming, and enparcelled in methods that defies kay-bars, scissors, rocks and even unfriendly and frustrated application of bunsen burners..
    Utterly useless in emergencies ( and otherwise ), which military application needs to assume…

    Your friend and his company were the stupid ones. They failed to understand the environment the kits were going to be used in.

  12. @Grikath
    Fair points. The interesting corollary was that the version for the British Army (and other nations) did have instructions for a somewhat higher reading age. They also had a screw top that could be opened very quickly and easily by people wearing the two pairs of gloves.

  13. Hallowed Be
    February 12, 2023 at 11:19 pm

    Given that someone’s mentioned in another thread that 2% of the UK population is black, surely it can only be wicked racism that makes 43% of Premier League, 34% of English Football League players and 4.4% of managers black.

    Of course one could hope that the people managing this don’t give a damn about skin colour and simply choose those who can best do the job.

  14. AndyF: But the British Army runs on thermoses of tea, so the ability to open a screw top under fire is an essential survival skill.

  15. BoganBoy,

    “Of course one could hope that the people managing this don’t give a damn about skin colour and simply choose those who can best do the job.”

    Yes, coz the series makers imply racism but the logic implies something entirely the opposite. After all the 34% number as you say are being picked out of a 2% group. Its probably a bit bigger since not just Brits in the feeder populations. But the two options are they’re either picked on merit, or the pickers (i.e. managers) are very very biased in favour of that group. The series makers implicitly accept they’re there on merit or they would be doing programs about hard done by non blacks being overlooked for the first team. And the people picking them for the team are 95%+ non black. Even if you accept all managers are big Ron Atkinsons, its no mystery the mechanism that keeps it strictly on merit is that its highly highly competitive. Somehow that mechanism goes away when it comes to the person picking the team and that’s nuts! Its the logical inconsistency that annoys so much.

  16. Female authors seem to have taken over sci-fi and fantasy and turned it into a sub-genre of woke romance novels.

    It started with Ursula Le Guin and has gone far downhill since then.

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