8 Replies Latest reply on May 23, 2012 4:29 PM by frantastk

    Is Barnes & Noble racist or sexist, or just oblivious?

      I recently purchased my first Nook Simple Touch and noticed that the author screensaver has almost all white men...only one woman and no non-white people.

       

      Doesn't anyone find that strange? I'm a white guy and I found it strange...If I were a woman or person of color, I'd be pissed off.


      There are plenty of authors they could have used, some of them peers or even predecessors of the existing screensaver writers...Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, Carlos Casteneda, Sun Tzu, etc.

       

      Seems like a stupid mistake they should correct in the next update.

        • Re: Is Barnes & Noble racist or sexist, or just oblivious?

          I see three Bronte Sisters, Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf. Looks like "only one woman" was a mistake on your part.

          • Re: Is Barnes & Noble racist or sexist, or just oblivious?
            kamas716

            If I was still using the stock authors screen saver, I wouldn't mind seeing Dumas or W.E.B. DuBois.  But, I've loaded my own photos on and use that now, so no big deal.

            • Re: Is Barnes & Noble racist or sexist, or just oblivious?
              roustabout

              "Carlos Casteneda

               

              Whiskey, Tango Foxtrot. 

               

              I realize the old coyote was taught to well-heeled college students in latin american studies courses for quite some time -  even after folks in the other departments realized that everything he'd written was lies (outside of Latin American Studies curricula, folks had figured out much of the problem while Nixon was still in office), and that his following had degenerated into an imploding sex and suicide cult. And also after most folks realized that the writing and ideas had pretty much nothing to do with anything - with any culture or body of literature.

               

              If you're looking for a brown skinned token, maybe pick a different one next time?  The joker you've drawn doesn't illustrate enlightment as much as the folks so brilliantly skewered by Phil Ochs thought (and apparently still think) he did. 

               

              Some thoughts on folks I wish I could find in Spanish, for friends I've recommended Nooks to over the Amazon products - and then found that Amazon has a much stronger selection of Latin American and Spanish literature actually written in Spanish:  Borges, Garcia Marquez, Garcia Lorca, Neruda, Vargas Llosa, Fuentes.

              • Re: Is Barnes & Noble racist or sexist, or just oblivious?
                bobstro

                pdx wrote:

                I recently purchased my first Nook Simple Touch and noticed that the author screensaver has almost all white men...only one woman and no non-white people. [...]


                Are you certain all those you're counting as males actually are?

                 

                • Re: Is Barnes & Noble racist or sexist, or just oblivious?
                  Byteguy

                  Anybody alive or reasonably current has an agent or foundation looking out for them and would need an agreement before B&N could use them.

                   

                  B&N had these authors already for their in-store posters.

                   

                  Personally, the Bronte Sisters scare me.  I demand to know why B&N feels it has to frighten me into constantly reading my Nook to keep them away.

                    • Re: Is Barnes & Noble racist or sexist, or just oblivious?
                      MacMcK1957

                      Seems to me there's all sorts of ways they're not representative of something.  I count ten images, of which 7 are men, 3 are women (including the Bronte trio).  One is classical, six are 19th century, three 20th century.  Two are gay (maybe three, not sure about Homer).  Eight are American or English (counting Conrad), one French, one ancient Greek.

                       

                      No Twain, Hugo, Dumas pere or fils, Alcott, Shakespeare, Dante, Byron, Chaucer, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, Virgil, Scott, Stevenson, Wells.  Nobody in the last 50 years except Vonnegut.  Think of your five favorite authors. Probably four aren't there.

                       

                      So if you want ten pictures to represent all of literature, and be inclusive of everyone, how do you do it?

                    • Re: Is Barnes & Noble racist or sexist, or just oblivious?

                      Nope. Doesn't bother me in the least. As a woman of Japanese decent, I have far more pressing concerns than who the dead authors are on the B&N screensaver. I think they used these images because these were the author art they've been using for years in the stores. The first thing I did was put my own screensavers on it, anyway. Those pictures have always scared me just a bit.