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Underrepresented Authors Promotion Thread

awwsmm profile image Andrew (he/him) ・1 min read

Damien brought up an interesting point about my recent "20 Most-Recommended Books" article -- it's populated almost entirely by authors who happen to be white men:

I actually came back to this list after the Sonmez's story, and after reading your Should we separate the artist from its art? article @awwsmm .

It's interesting to see, and unfortunately not surprising, that most of these books are writing by old white men. Don't get me wrong, there are some great books in this list, books I own myself and that I enjoy. This is the industry we have, dominated by white dudes, who had the most exposure and opportunities over the years. It's only normal that they come up so often in a list like that.

However, I think, and I'm pretty sure @awwsmm will agree with that, we would all be better off promoting books from people coming from different origins. So, here a proposition, is it possible to make such a list while excluding people that already had a good amount of exposure and privilege? We've heard them, and for some in that list, we also know what kind of people they are. Just a thought.

Keep up the good work Andrew ❀️

Of course there's nothing wrong with promoting books by white men, but when these sorts of lists are disproportionately populated by authors in a particular socioeconomic class, it promotes their views and biases -- however slight or glaring -- at the expense of others.

These books were not my personal recommendations, but simply an aggregate of the books which are most recommended online. It seems that we, as an industry, have a lot of work to do to get to the point where authors of all genders, sexes, and ethnic backgrounds are equally represented.

So tell me, what are your favourite tech-related works by authors from underrepresented groups? Do you know any Java books by women of colour? Or Kubernetes tutorials made by persons with disabilities? What about YouTube channels with tech reviews by members of the LGBT+ community?

Let's build up a new, more diverse list of resources by creators with different viewpoints so we can all better ourselves and promote authors with backgrounds that might be different from our own. (If you are a creator from an underrepresented group, feel free to self-promote below!)

Discussion

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

If you talk about underrepresented humans, notice that 100% of the books mentioned are written in one language, English, which is the mother tongue of lots of people, but also not the mother tongue of lots more people:

  • English speakers: 360–400 million (first language), 750 millions (second language) - 600 millions (as a foreign language)
  • Humans on Earth: 7.000 millions.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_la...

I have no problem with English per se, just we should be clear that learning programming is hard, learning to read and write a foreign language is a long journey, and learning both at the same time can be very painful indeed!

I think books in your mother tongue makes especially sense for grasping the core concepts.

Up to date documentation about the latest Javascript framework in your mother tongue is a loosing battle, but the core concepts do not change that much.

So how to find those books?

One way to do it is to search the Amazon best seller lists in various languages:

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damcosset profile image
Damien Cosset

Good point. Didn't think of that one!

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awwsmm profile image
Andrew (he/him) Author

That's probably a bias on my part, as I only searched English-language web pages.

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jmfayard profile image
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damcosset profile image
Damien Cosset

This. This is also why I love this community. Thank you for doing this πŸ™