Monday, July 12, 2010


Do you know the play FENCES? I teach it in my Intro to Lit class, and it just closed on Broadway (three Tonys, including one for Denzel). Awesome play. An African-American play, but a universal play. The main character, Troy, never gets his fence finished. He needs to protect his heart, his family, his territory--but what is he also keeping out?

I am thinking about this because we just finished discussing FENCES, but also because I read this fantastic blog post and its comments, all about inclusion and exclusion in children's literature, and it directly relates to books 1 through 3 of my repertoire. So directly I blushed.

So here's a request: what about gates in the fences? Or maybe a big ol' pasture with little fenced-off spaces inside it? Places to mix and mingle, but still with some protection for those who feel the need? I'm not discounting the need, either--I have no idea what it means to have to protect yourself to survive, and I have no right to refute that feeling. But man, I'm here, outside your fence, trying to say hello because I like you and want to get to know you. Yes, I know. Privilege. I don't have to have a fence. But I mean it: I like you and I want to get to know you. You can give me the finger, and you have every right. But I really don't want to walk away.

Thanks to Malinda Lo for showing me Arthur Levine's blog (he's the man who brought Harry Potter to America, I could kiss your shoes, dude).

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