May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month


Girl sitting outside and blowing her nose

 

05/26/2016 10:00 AM EDT
Children are magnets for colds. But when the “cold” won’t go away for weeks, the culprit may be something else: allergies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines that offer allergy relief, as well as allergen extracts used to diagnose and treat allergies. And parents should take particular care when giving these products to children.

May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Read the Consumer Update to learn more about allergy relief for kids.

Brandi Collins, ColorOfChange.org


Black people read more books than anyone else.

Shouldn’t booksellers make it easy to find books that reflect us?

Amazon wouldn’t be the biggest bookseller in the world without our business.

Tell Amazon to increase visibility and accessibility of books by Black authors or with Black protagonists.

 

 

As one of the largest booksellers, and the largest ebook retailer, the power of Amazon to influence the success or failure of products cannot be overstated. How a book is classified, listed, and ranked by genre, section, or algorithmic determination directly affects how many copies are sold.1 74% of all US ebook purchases and 71% of all US consumer dollars spent on ebooks go through Amazon’s website.2 For some authors, such as those who are self-published or in partnership with small publishers, visibility and accessibility can make or break their literary career. For Black authors and other authors of color especially, the lack of a specialized section where their novels are highlighted and made easily accessible further diminishes their already small presence in the majority white literary industry.

It’s time for Amazon to show that they understand the desires of the Black readers.

Amazon has recognized the need for minority-specific genres and section headings in the past, and taken steps to allow specific categories or headings for work by certain groups, such as LGBT authors in 2014.3 However, they have not extended the same attention towards the needs or concerns of other groups. All people of color, whether Black, Latino, Asian American & Pacific Islander, or Native American & Indigenous, deserve to have their voices heard and their literary interests represented by booksellers. The lack of these sections leaves many books and authors unknown to their desired audiences. As the largest and one of the most influential booksellers, Amazon should take the lead in showing that they hear and understand the desires of their customers.

The lack of the speculative fiction sections for Black people gives the impression that science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories featuring people of color don’t exist. Let’s change that.

Currently, there is no specific way to find science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories written by or featuring Black people as main characters when browsing Amazon’s online stores. Additionally, when the genre specific categories are used to search, works by Black authors are lost among results with no way to sort them out specifically. Even within the African American literature section, there are no sub-genre headings for science fiction, fantasy, or horror. College-educated Black women are the group in the U.S. most likely to read books, and Black people read more of every type of book overall.4 Creating genre headings within the African American literature section and an African American grouping under science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres is not only good business sense.5 It is the morally right thing to do in ensuring diverse literary representation, and that Black people and other people of color can easily find books which reflect their their experiences and creativity.

Thanks and peace,

–Brandi, Rashad, Arisha, Bernard, Brittaney, Evan, and the rest of the ColorOfChange team

References:

1. “How to Engage Amazon’s algorithms to sell more books.” Readers in the Know, 12-14-2014. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6095?t=5&akid=5835.1174326.uWog3D’s-algorithms-to-sell-more-books

2. “October 2015 – Apple, B&N, Kobo, and Google: a look at the rest of the e-book market.” Author Earnings, 10-2015. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6096?t=7&akid=5835.1174326.uWog3D

3. “Dear Mr. Bezos: Pushing Queer Romance Forward with Community Action.” Lambda Literary, 09-16-2014. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6097?t=9&akid=5835.1174326.uWog3D

4. “The Most Likely Person to Read a Book? A College-Educated Black Woman.” The Atlantic Wire, 01-16-2014. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5965?t=11&akid=5835.1174326.uWog3D

5. “Thinking About Writing in Multiple Genres? Here’s What You Need to Know.” The Book Designer, 11-11-2016http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6098?t=13&akid=5835.1174326.uWog3D