Video: POCathon – Reading Books by and about People of Color

It’s POC-a-thon time!

What is POC-a-thon, you may ask? It’s a reading event hosted by several booktubers (booktube = people talking about books on YouTube). Running from Aug 12-19, it gives us an opportunity to collectively read more books by and about people of color (POC).

Here’s the thing: I suck at read-a-thons. They’re so much fun and I love watching along, but I’m just terrible at participating. 

This feels like a less-pressurized version of the usual a-thons, though. The idea isn’t quantity or reading nonstop. It’s more of a gentle nudge to remind us to read outside our own demographic lanes.

The hosts of this reading extravaganza are:

Myn Kobayashi 
Ghost Reader (Justin) 
Story Glyph (Kevin) 
Paola Mancera 
Diana in Colour      

The challenges, should you choose to accept them, are:

General rule: In the course of these challenges, read books with main characters from three different races or ethnicities. 

Read a classic book by an author of colour/or a translated book.

On the TBR: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

 
 
 
 
 
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It’s day 4 of #POCathon, encouraging us to read books by or about people of color. . Alexandre Dumas was a hugely successful mixed-race author in France. He wrote many swashbuckling novels that became classics, including The Man in the Iron Mask and the Three Musketeers. . One that’s been on my TBR for YEEEEEARS is my mom’s copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. It has all the components of the quintessential adventure novel: international intrigue, false imprisonment, escape, treasure, revenge. . I can 100% guarantee that I won’t finish this book before POC-a-thon is through, but one one these days, gosh darn it, I will finally be able to mark this one off of the reading list. . #bookstagram #booknerdigans #booksofinstagram #reading #bookphotography #bookreview #bookrecommendation #recommendedreading #amreading #reading #mybookshelf #bookworm #bookstagramchallenge #bookphotography #readdiversebooks #alexandredumas #thecountofmontecristo #classicbooks

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Read an SFF book by or featuring people of color.

I read the sci-fi short story, “Black Betty” by Nisi Shawl.

I honestly wasn’t sure for most of this short story whether Black Betty was actually a sentient dog, or a human who was treated like a dog.

It’s a dog and I apparently am an idiot. But aside from that, the story is very interesting. Pay attention to the social dynamics of what’s happening not just to Betty, but to the world around her. And the thought that even when sentient, she’s still treated like property.

Read it free here
Or listen to Levar Burton read it aloud for his podcast Levar Burton Reads, followed by a live interview with the author. 

Read poetry by an author of color.

Author Chen Chen wrote this poem “I Invite My Parents to a Dinner Party” in response to his own family’s grappling with his sexuality.

Read a book that deals with racism, prejudice, or immigration.

The Leavers by Lisa Ko 

Deming’s mother is an illegal immigrant. When he is a child, she disappears. The remainder of his childhood and young adulthood is spent in a state of emptiness, wondering where she is. When we find out where she went, it’s surprising and heartbreaking.

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

Ignacio is a lucky little boy pulled between two families: his deported mother and his foster family. Reading through the path of his mother, Soli, is another heartbreaking journey, giving a sympathetic face to the struggle of immigration.

This challenge isn’t limited only to booktube! Join in on the fun on Instagram and Twitter using #POCathon.

Watch all of the fabulous booktube POC-a-thon videos here. 

You can also find my own contribution and many more bookish videos on my booktube channel

Are you at a loss of where to start? Justin from Ghost Reader has you covered! Check out his Twitter thread with lots of great POC book recommendations:

Music credit: bensound.com.