How to Mess Up Black History Month | The New Republic

Book events rarely garner national media attention—or, for that matter, much attention at all. But on Wednesday, Barnes & Noble canceled the launch of “Diverse Editions,” a series of 12 new covers of American classics that “reimagine protagonists as people of color,” after the initiative was decried as “literary blackface.” 

“Editions” is something of a misnomer—these were not new books being sold but rather cover print-outs featuring artist renderings of characters from works including Moby-Dick,The Wizard of Oz, and The Secret Garden. Think Captain Ahab depicted as a black man, Dorothy as a black girl, and Frankenstein’s monster with an Afro. 

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