solarcat: (Bandom (Pete) -- Nun)
[personal profile] solarcat
So as many of you know, I work for a small publishing house. I come to you today with a question that is relevant to my work, and I ask that you please spread the link to anyone you know who would be able to weigh-in on this issue.

We recently positioned an upcoming middle-grade fiction title, the third in a series. As part of that meeting, we determine our cover concept. The cover concept for this title involves the main characters in a cafeteria setting at their junior high school. However, this is the first time all of the main characters have been featured on the cover. We're excited to finally be able to depict them on the cover, but we want to make sure we're doing it right.

So, I come to you today, LJ, to respectfully ask your opinions on a question of hair. One of the main characters of the series is a 12-year-old African-American girl, from a middle-class family living in the Midwest.

I will put it bluntly--our editorial staff is made up of Catholic nuns, none of whom are black, and white women. We have no practical knowledge of the style of hair this girl would be likely to have. We are aware that hair can be a highly-charged topic for African-Americans, and we are trying to determine (again, to put it bluntly) the safest option we have for this cover. While we realize that it is impossible to please everyone all the time, we're hoping that by doing some research and asking around, we can determine the hopefully least-offensive route to take, here. Everyone was very excited to finally have all the characters on the cover of the book, but we don't want to fuck it up.

We would be grateful for any input on this matter. (And I apologize if I've inadvertently phrased something poorly.)
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